Reese Witherspoon, whose portrayal of June Carter Cash won her the coveted Oscar last spring, will team with another of this year's winners, South African director Gavin Hood, on the upcoming New Line production, Rendition, according to FilmJerk.
Hood, whose Tsotsi became the first film from the former Apartheid state to win an Academy Award, will make his Hollywood debut directing first-time screenwriter Kelley Sane's multi-layered story centering on a CIA analyst based in Cairo who finds his world spinning out of control after he witnesses the interrogation of a foreign national by the Egyptian secret police. Witherspoon has been tapped to play Isabella El-Ibrahim, the pregnant American wife of an Egyptian-born chemical engineer whose family emigrated to the States in the mid 1980s, who is shipped off to a third world country for interrogation after he is deemed a political prisoner in our post-9/11 world.
Production is set to begin in late November, with shooting scheduled for Los Angeles, Washington DC, Morocco and Cape Town until the early part of 2007. One can expect Rendition to be one of New Line's major Oscar bait films of next year, most likely to be released in November or December 2007.
Witherspoon's next film, the fantasy/comedy Penelope also starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy, which she also produced, is currently making the film festival rounds while searching for an American distributor.