Billy Crudup Ties The Troubled Knot With Julia Roberts For ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

Taking a decided step away from “Watchmen” and “Public Enemies,” Billy Crudup has signed on to Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Variety reports.

“Eat, Pray, Love” is Elizabeth Gilbert’s story of her journey of self-discovery around the world after she ends her marriage at the beginning of the novel. Billy Crudup will play Elizabeth’s husband, who she leaves after his continued pressure for her to get pregnant leaves her unhappy with her marriage and depressed.

Julia Roberts is signed on to play Elizabeth Gilbert’s character, with Javier Bardem cast as a man she meets during the final segment of her journey in Bali, Indonesia whom she falls in love with (hence the “Love” in the title). Richard Jenkins is also cast as a Texan Elizabeth befriends in India during the “Pray” section of the novel.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel reached out to women as her leaving her husband and rediscovering herself through food, spirituality and love resonated with the general unhappiness in marriages in America. In my opinion, Julia Roberts could not have been better cast as the leading lady due to her own relatability with the female sect (“Pretty Woman” or “Erin Brockovich,” anyone?). Hopefully Billy Crudup won’t be wasted as Elizabeth’s husband, who (at least in the novel) is only directly involved in the story for a limited amount of time.

Ryan Murphy, the director behind “Running With Scissors,” will be helming the project, with the script written by Jennifer Salt. Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner are producing the film through their production company, Plan B. “Eat, Pray, Love” starts shooting next week and is set to be released in 2011.