am forlorn no more. Fernando Meirelles’s adaptation of Jose Saramago’s intellectual sci-fi thriller, Blindness, was dealt quite a blow last month when Daniel Craig vacated the project in order to make a World War II movie with Edward Zwick (not what I’d do with my newfound Bond clout, but whatever). This left Julianne Moore stranded as the lead in a film about a white blindness epidemic that cripples an unnamed city (it was European in the book, but it looks like Canuck screenwriter Don McKellar will be setting the picture in Sao Paolo, Brazil, since that’s where it’s going to be shot). I posited that the project needed a star with at least a little drawing power, figuring that it was time to reunite Moore with her Children of Men co-star Clive Owen; well, as is usually the case, nobody was listening.

And I’m glad they weren’t.

Variety is reporting that Mark Ruffalo will play Moore’s husband, a doctor who goes blind along with the rest of the town (only Moore’s character retains her sight). Casting Ruffalo is never a bad choice; ever since his heartbreaking turn in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me, he’s been one of my favorite actors – which has made it difficult to sit through such turds as Rumor Has It, Just Like Heaven and View from the Top. Finally, though, it seems like he’s finally getting the respect he deserves, what with his involvement in David Fincher’s Zodiac and his upcoming appearances in Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, Terry George’s Reservation Road and Lonergan’s long-awaited Margaret. Perhaps he’s done pulling "Baxter" duty in far too many formulaic romantic comedies.

Blindness will begin shooting this summer in Sao Paolo, and will probably be a player in the Fall ’08 awards season.  Focus Features will distribute.