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Paul Dano and Lily James join BBC's War & Peace mini-series

Paul Dano

Story by Jack Foley

PAUL Dano, Lily James and James Norton have joined the cast of a new TV adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace.

A co-production between the BBC and The Weinstein Co., the series will consist of six one hour episodes and will be directed by Tom Harper (of Peaky Blinders and Woman in Black: Angel of Death fame).

Dano, who is best known for roles in Ruby Sparks, There Will Be Blood, Prisoners and 12 Years A Slave, will star as Pierre Bezukhov, while James takes on the role of Natasha Rostova. She has previously starred in Downton Abbey and will shortly be seen in a new big screen version of Cinderella.

Norton (Happy Valley, Belle) will play Prince Andrei Bolkonsky.

Also appearing among the cast cast are Stephen Rea as Prince Vassily Kuragin, Ade Edmondson and Greta Scacchi as Count and Countess Rostov, Jack Lowden The Tunnel) as Nikolai Rostov, Tom Burke (The Musketeers, The Hour) as Dolokhov and Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge) as Sonya.

Downton Abbey‘s James commented: “I am very excited and privileged to be playing Natasha, in this co-production between BBC and The Weinstein Company, of Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace. It is amazing to be part of such a prestigious cast and to appear in such a beautiful and rich adaptation by Andrew Davies.”

And Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman and executive producer for The Weinstein Co., added: “I fell in love with Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a teenager when I read it for the first time. Putting an epic, iconic story like War and Peace on screen with a cast of this caliber is an incredible thrill.

“Lily, Paul, and James are all amazingly talented actors, and it takes their level of talent to capture the scale of Tolstoy’s words. We are excited to get underway with Andrew Davies and the phenomenal team at BBC.”

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “The impressive array of talent assembled for this drama production is testament to the ambition and scale of this iconic story that we will bring to life for a new generation.”

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