Julia Roberts' upcoming romance may have just gotten its best hope -- another rugged paramour. Variety reports that Javier Bardem is in negotiations to co-star in Roberts' pet project, Eat, Pray Love -- the Elizabeth Gilbert memoir that Ryan Murphy will direct.

The account follows Gilbert's post-marriage life. When she realized she didn't want to be married or have a kid, she got divorced and set off on a three-stop, year-long journey. Step one: widening the waistline in Italy while indulging in wonderful eats (I bet anything the waistline part will be forgotten). Step two: find her inner spiritual energy at an ashram in India. Step three: balance in Bali, where she slips into a love affair; enter Bardem, should he officially sign on.

It doesn't seem like the kind of fare worthy of Bardem's talents, but if there's one thing that Clive Owen has taught us, it's that Ms. Roberts does her best with a darker, rugged man. So, this could be a blessing for the film. (Then again, this is probably my inner Closer fan wishing that Julia would grab more fare like that and less chick fluff.) But just to make things even more titilating -- Richard Jenkins will play a Texan she befriends at the ashram, so it can't be all bad, can it?
CATEGORIES Casting, Cinematical