Knightley to star in 'Anna Karenina'

Sept. 8, 2011 at 5:47 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Joe Wright is to direct British actress Keira Knightley in a big-screen adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel "Anna Karenina," Focus Features said Thursday.

Wright and Knightley previously worked together on film versions of the books "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement."

Playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard penned the script for "Anna Karenina," which is to begin filming in the United Kingdom and Russia this month.

Focus Features said it will distribute the movie domestically, and Universal Pictures International will distribute the movie internationally in the second half of 2012.

Knightley will play the titular heroine. Co-starring with her will be Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson.

"Joe Wright is a master filmmaker, and with Tom Stoppard's brilliant screenplay this 'Anna Karenina' will be full of both pageantry and emotion," Focus Features Chief Executive Officer James Schamus said in a statement. "To realize Joe's vision, we have the perfect producing partners in Working Title and Paul Webster, whose acumen is unsurpassed. With Keira Knightley playing this iconic role and a splendid cast supporting her, today's moviegoers will be drawn to this powerful story."

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