Claire Danes to play autistic scientist in HBO pic

Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:28am EDT

laire Danes attends the premiere of ''Stardust'' at Paramount studios in Hollywood, California July 29, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

laire Danes attends the premiere of ''Stardust'' at Paramount studios in Hollywood, California July 29, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Claire Danes is in negotiations to star in HBO's long-gestating biopic of Temple Grandin, a leading speaker on autism, animal expert and author.

Mick Jackson, whose credits include "The Bodyguard," the television series "Traffic" and HBO's "Live From Baghdad," is set to direct the film, from a script by Christopher Monger.

Grandin overcame the limitations imposed by the disorder to become a top scientist in the field of humane livestock handling.

High school was especially harsh for Grandin, who was called "tape recorder" by other kids because she repeated things over and over, and she was hypersensitive to many forms of sensory stimulation. She eventually graduated with degrees from several universities, going on to write influential essays on animal welfare and designing humane slaughterhouses. She appears regularly on the news talk show circuit and was the subject of a BBC documentary, "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow," and Errol Morris' "First Person: Stairway to Heaven."

Danes will play Grandin from her high school years to her post-academic period.

The actress stars in Richard Linklater's "Me and Orson Welles," which premieres in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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