MOVIES+ Family woman Julia Roberts will star in an untitled drama about Joan Root, the wildlife conservationist murdered in Kenya last year. Says producer Tim Bevan, who last worked with Roberts on 1999's Notting Hill: ''It's Out of Africa meets The Constant Gardener.''
+ 300's Gerard Butler will drop the sword to play a scientist dad in Nim's Island, based on the kids' book. ''It's this fantastical tale set on a little island in the middle of nowhere, where a girl lives with her father,'' he explains. Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin plays his daughter, and Jodie Foster appears as her pen pal, a reclusive writer.
+ The indie thriller Righteous Kill will reunite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for the first time since 1995's Heat. We can hardly contain ourselves! Unfortunately, tight-lipped director Jon Avnet can: ''They're both cops, and they're buddies.'' Oooh, like a buddy-cop movie? ''Let me put it this way: You're going to smile.'' Additonal reporting by Adam B. Vary