UPDATE: It is Gina Rodriguez, not Michelle who is being courted for Miss Balathe Jane The Virgin star. She doesn’t have the role yet but is the front-runner.

BREAKING: Catherine Hardwicke is in talks to direct Miss Bala, the remake of the Mexican film that was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2011. Hardwicke and Sony are hoping to land a star quickly to play the beauty pageant contestant who witnesses the brutality of a drug gang and is dragged into their dangerous business. I’ve heard the studio is heavily courting Gina Rodriguez, among other actresses. Hardwicke has separately been circling The Phantom Tollbooth, which is at sister label TriStar project. If the studio gets a star tof Miss Bala quickly, Hardwicke won’t likely catch the other train. Kevin Misher and Pablo Cruz are producing, Andy Berman is executive producer. Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer is adapting the script by original director Gerard Naranjo and Mauricio Katz.

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The Phantom Tollbooth is the 1961 Norton Juster children’s book. It has a script by Michael Vukadinovich and focuses on a bored young boy named Milo who receives a magic tollbooth, drives through it in his toy car and is transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom. There, he goes on an incredible adventure and gets the chance to save a princess. Donald De Line is producing through his De Line Pictures with Ed McDonnell of Maple Shade Films. The scribe wrote the kiddie tales The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto at Fox and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney. The Twilight director is repped by CAA and Manage-ment.