Natalie Portman is to wander the windy Yorkshire moors in a new movie version of Wuthering Heights, it has been confirmed.

The V For Vendetta actress is to star as Catherine Earnshaw in the upcoming Bronte adaptation, the first English language film of the book since 1993.

Having honed her English accent with roles in Closer and recent historical epic The Other Boleyn Girl, Portman will now have to tackle the Yorkshire dialect for her portrayal of Emily Bronte's headstrong heroine Cathy.

John Maybury, director of The Jacket and the soon-to-be-released Dylan Thomas biopic The Edge of Love, is to helm the project, though a start date has not yet been confirmed.

Ecosse Films will produce Olivia Hetreed's (Girl With a Pearl Earring) script, with HanWay Films in charge of its worldwide release.

"Natalie is without a doubt one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation," HanWay's Tim Haslam told the Hollywood Reporter.

"Combined with visionary director John Maybury, this promises to be a fresh, exciting version of a classic Love Story."

And according to Robert Bernstein of Ecosse Films - who will produce the film alongside Douglas Rae - Portman has the "intensity and depth" to provide an iconic rendition of the role.

While the book has been adapted a number of times for both the big and small screens, the 1939 edition starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon is viewed as the authoritative version, having earned eight Oscar nominations.

11/04/2008 11:06:41