I used to think Julia Stiles was the next big thing. That was back when she seemed to star in every Shakespeare update around (10 Things I Hate About You; Almereyda's Hamlet; O). Then she somehow became better remembered as "Nicky", the deer-in-headlights character from The Bourne Identity and its sequels. Sure her part increased through the series, but all I can think of is that line, "I can send Nicky to do that, for Chrissakes." Now, I associate her with any role that's so easy even she could do it. Which certainly seems to apply with a movie in which she's just been cast, Cry of the Owl. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stiles is replacing Sara Polley in the thriller, which makes me wonder if maybe the part is too simple for the now-very-respected Polley. "They can send 'Nicky' to do that, for Chrissakes," the actress must have thought.

Cry of the Owl is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, which starred Bourne co-star Matt Damon) and was previously adapted by Claude Chabrol. This version will be helmed by Jamie Thraves, who directed my favorite Radiohead video, "Just", as well as videos for Blur ("Charmless Man") and Coldplay ("Scientist"; "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face"). The movie co-stars Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum) as a new guy in town who Stiles' character falls for. Problem is, he's also stalking her. Scott Speedman (who was probably looking forward to working again with Polley, his My Life Without Me co-star) plays her ex, who plots revenge for being dumped. The movie begins shooting in Toronto next week.

To be fair to Stiles, I have to admit that coming from Highsmith, Cry of the Owl may not be just another stalker thriller. Also, she has been delivering fine performances in little-seen movies like A Little Trip to Heaven and Edmond -- never mind that she also starred in The Omen remake. She's also just made her directorial debut with the short Raving and she's set to star in an adaptation of The Bell Jar. Perhaps one of these days I'll have something new, and more favorable, to associate her with.