After years of development (and some unfortunate lawsuits), production on the biopic of elephant conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick is finally moving forward. 


Hollywood trade sites lit up earlier this week after it was revealed that Nicole Kidman will play Daphne — a role, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that attracted previous attention from stars like Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. Philip Noyce ("Salt," "Patriot Games") will direct. 


For more than 30 years, Sheldrick worked alongside her late husband, David, in Kenya, helping to raise and rehabilitate orphaned animals — from baby elephants to black rhinos, buffaloes, zebra, warthogs and more. According to Wikipedia, she is considered an authority on the rearing of wild creatures and is the first person to have perfected the milk formula and necessary husbandry for both infant milk-dependent elephants and rhinos.


"Their tremendous capacity for caring is I think perhaps the most amazing thing about them," she said of the animals in a 2009 interview with "60 Minutes." "Even at a very, very young age. Their sort of forgiveness, unselfishness — they have all the best attributes of us humans and not very many of the bad."


In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Sheldrick a "Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire," the first of its kind to be awarded in Kenya since the country's independence in 1963. 


It's expected that "My Wild Life" will hit theaters sometime in late 2012. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Nicole Kidman to star in 'My Wild Life'
Drama tells the story of animal conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her efforts to raise and reintegrate orphaned animals.