The Constant Gardener: According to Variety, Rachel Weisz has landed the female lead opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Constant Gardener, an adaptation of the John le Carre novel for Focus Features. Oscar-nominated helmer Fernando Meirelles (City Of God) directs, with shooting to begin in May.

Weisz will play the feisty wife to Fiennes' complacent British diplomat. While he seems most interested in tending his garden in Nairobi, she uses her law degree to expose a scandal in which a drug company is testing a dangerous tuberculosis remedy on a group of poor Africans. When her battered body is discovered in the jungle, her husband is driven to discover her killer and uncover possible collusion between politicians and a pharmaceutical giant.

The role of Tessa Quayle had young actresses jumping, partly because the film marks the English-lingo debut of the director. Meirelles recently was quoted in Gotham papers lamenting that he had to choose among Weisz, Kate Winslet and newcomer Eva Green, who just toplined Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers.

Brian B.