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Reese Witherspoon has been somewhat MIA since 2008's holiday comedy Four Christmases, but she's about to come back big time. She's got a starring role in this fall's James L. Brooks comedy How Do You Know and will be Robert Pattinson's object of affection in Water for Elephants for come April. Now she's lining up another project that in some ways hearkens back to her Oscar-winning Walk The Line role. Having already tackled June Carter, Witherspoon is moving on to another American songstress, Peggy Lee.

Witherspoon has secured Lee's life rights from her estate and brought the project to Fox 2000, where THR reports she's got Nora Ephron interested in directing. Witherspoon is still negotiating to star but would definitely be on board as a producer alongside Marc Platt-- not all that surprising from the woman we all believe is more like Tracy Flick in real life than any of her other characters.

The difference between this project and Walk The Line, of course, is that June Carter's life was inextricably tied to her husband Johnny Cash, while Peggy Lee's story would be standing on her own. Lee started by singing for Benny Goodman's band but achieved fame as a solo artist and even an actress, even earning a Best Supporting Actress nod for the 1955 musical Pete Kelly's Blues. She was a huge star of the pre-rock and roll era, with her best known songs including a cover of "Fever" and "Is That all There Is;" she also wrote the lyrics to many of the songs from Lady and the Tramp, and voiced the sultry dogpound vixen Trixie.

Witherspoon looks a decent amount like Lee, but perhaps more importantly she has the intensity and drive it probably took for a woman to succeed on her own in a male-dominated industry like music. Maybe it's repeating a little bit of the same trick to play yet another mid-century American musician, but if Witherspoon is going to be one of the few actresses in Hollywood capable of engineering her own projects and casting herself, she may as well pick all the good roles while she's at it.

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