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Casting Net: Julia Roberts to produce, star in 'Batkid' feature film

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Julia Roberts
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Julia Roberts will be starring in and producing in Batkid, a feature film based off the documentary “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard around the World.” The original documentary—which was directed by Dana Nachman and debuts at Slamdance Film Festival on Jan. 24—tells the story of five-year-old Miles Scott, a boy diagnosed with leukemia who wanted to be Batman for a day. The ensuing Make-A-Wish event turned into a worldwide phenomenon with nearly 2 billion participants on social media. [Variety]

Laura Cohan (The Walking Dead) has signed on to star in the horror thriller, The Boy. The film, to be directed by William Brent Bell, focuses on Cohan’s character, a nanny who is charged with overseeing a lifelike doll by a strange couple who treat the doll like a real child. “The couple use the doll as a way to cope with the death of their young son, but the nanny becomes increasingly convinced it is alive.” The project is looking to start in March in British Columbia. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Jan Ole Gerster and Tom Schilling are reteaming after their work as the director and star, respectively, of 2012’s Oh Boy (aka A Coffee in Berlin). The pair’s next project is an adaptation of Christian Kracht‘s best-seller Imperium. Schilling will star as radical vegetarian and nudist, August Engelhardt, who left Germany in 1902 to set up “a utopian colony on a South Sea island.” The story tells of how Engelhardt’s malnourished body was found on a beach in 1919. No production or release date details have been released. [The Hollywood Reporter]