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Production Underway on Joe Wright's ANNA KARENINA


Anna KareninaWord came down today from Working Films that production has begun on Joe Wright's adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy classic, Anna Karenina. The film marks Wright's fourth film with Working title and his third collaboration with Keira Knightley who will star opposite Jude Law, as Anna's husband Aleksei Karenin.

The film, written by Tom Stoddard (Shakespeare in Love), is set to begin shooting in Russia and the U.K., and represents the umpteenth time the classic 19th century tale has been adapted for either television or the big screen.  However Wright has displayed some fairly healthy chops when working with the period genre, as has his leading lady in the Atonement and Pride and Prejudice adaptations.

Joining Knightley and Law in the star-studded cast will be Kelly McDonald, Matthew Mcfayden, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, and Emily Watson. Academy award winning composer Dario Marianelli will reteam with Wright on the film's score.

The story unfolds in its original late-19th-century Russia high-society setting and powerfully 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. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness, change comes to her family, friends, and community.

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, widely considered to be one of the greatest novels ever written, will present a particularly daunting challenge for Wright since it has already been adapted to death on the big screen, little screen and the stage. But with the right vision and a well-executed production, we should expect there to be plenty of unexplored material from within the 800+ pages of Tolstoy's original tome. And with Wright behind the camera, such a daunting task couldn't be in better hands. At least, so says this author.

Focus Features will distribute the film in the United States and Universal Pictures International will handle the release internationally. No release date has been announced.

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