Liz Smith reports that Roberts has replaced the previously announced Cate Blanchett, who bowed out of the film last month due to her pregnancy. Produced by Scott Rudin and Robert Fox, the film also stars Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. Playwright Marber has written the screenplay for the film, which will rehearse in December in Manhattan prior to a London filming after the holidays. Mike Nichols directs. Nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, Closer opened March 25, 1999, at Broadway's Music Box Theatre following a London run at the Royal National Theatre. Playwright Marber also directed the piece, which featured Anna Friel, Rupert Graves, Ciaran Hinds and Natasha Richardson.
Closer explores the ever-changing state of modern relationships through a quartet of lovers tangled in a web of love, lust, sex and betrayal. The play won the 1997 Evening Standard Best Comedy Award and the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play.
Julia Roberts received an Academy Award for her performance in "Erin Brockovich." She was also Oscar-nominated for "Pretty Woman" and "Steel Magnolias." The actress will next appear on the silver screen in "Mona Lisa Smile," which opens Dec. 19.