Naomi Watts has partnered with Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea to option Aussie bestseller Penguin Bloom.

All three will produce the film alongside Emma Cooper, with Watts set to star.

Written by Bradley Trevor Greive, Penguin Bloom is the true story of a family from Sydney’s Northern Beaches. After Cameron Bloom’s wife Sam (Watts) has a near-fatal accident that leaves her paralysed, an injured magpie chick “dubbed Penguin“  helps the family to cope.

Watts said she was captivated by the life-affirming nature of Sam’s story.

“Sam’s undeniable spirit and the intense physical and emotional journey she and her family embraced resonated with me both as a storyteller and as a mother,” she said.

Witherspoon and Papandrea are said to have signed on the moment Cooper sent them the book.

Penguin Bloom affected me in so many ways,” said Papandrea. “Every family will respond to this universal and heartwarming story of a family dealing with tragedy.”

While Papandrea departed the shingle she shared with Witherspoon,Pacific Standard, in September, she is still working with Witherspoon on projects, including Jessica Knolls’ Luckiest Girl Alive at Summit/Lionsgate and Ashley’s War at Fox 2000.

Production on Penguin Bloom will take place in Australia. No director or screenwriter has been announced.

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