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Keira Knightley and Jude Law for Anna Karenina

The Duchess

Story by Jack Foley

KEIRA Knightley is to play Anna Karenina opposite Jude Law’s Aleksei Karenin in a new British film adaptation.

Oscar-winning writer Tom Stoppard will pen the script for Joe Wright, who previously directed the actress in Atonement and Pride & Prejudice

The epic romance is based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel and sees Knightley playing the key role of Anna, a married woman who has an affair with a younger soldier.

Law will portray her husband, Karenin, while Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson has landed the role of Count Vronsky.

The film is due out next year and the Working Title production will begin filming in the UK and Russia this month.

Announcing the project, Tim Bevan, of Working Title Films, said: “We anticipate that this will be a defining screen version of Anna Karenina.”

Set in late 19th Century Russia, Anna Karenina is described as a powerful tale that “explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, from the passion between adulterers to the bond between a mother and her children”.

There have been several film versions already, including adaptations featuring Vivien Leigh (1948), Greta Garbo (1935) and French actress Sophie Marceau (1997).

A British television adaptation, starring Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd, was also shown on Channel 4 in 2000.

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