Aaron Johnson Eyes 'Anna Karenina' & 'Savages'; Jude Law Also Tapped For Tolstoy Tale

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 17, 2011 12:53 PM
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With "Hanna" getting set to hit theaters next month, Joe Wright is already plotting his next move, the much talked about adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" and he's looking to bring and up-and-comer and an established vet into the literary tale.

Variety reports that Aaron Johnson ("Kick-Ass") and Jude Law are in talks to join Keira Knightley in the upcoming film. Written by Tom Stoppard (and in case you missed English class) the (short version) of the tale is that it's a tragic Moscow-set love story about the titular married Russian aristocrat who falls for an army officer. There's no word yet on what roles Johnson and Law would be taking on, but if we had to hazard a guess, we'd say the former is being lined up for the role of Anna's lover Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky and the latter for her brother, Stiva. But of course, we could be totally wrong. Wright talked at length about his forthcoming adaptation last month -- he's doing extensive research -- and we really can't wait to see him take on the film and this cast is certainly promising. But it's not all Johnson is weighing on his plate.

Deadline reports that Johnson is also being offered the lead in Oliver Stone's "Savages." The drug cartel thriller is based on Don Winslow‘s book about “two pals from Laguna Beach who share the same girlfriend and a thriving business growing and distributing the best-quality pot on the planet. When they resist being muscled by a Mexican drug cartel, the girl is kidnapped and the ransom is every cent they’ve made for the last five years. They agree to pay but hatch an alternate plan to get her back, get revenge, and then get lost.” Jennifer Lawrence was in talks last month for O, the lead girl in the picture, but after he recent signing to "The Hunger Games," her participation is now in doubt. As for Johnson of one of the two male leads -- Ben or Chon -- and his name cropped up last month among a list of potential candidates.

With "Savages" set to shoot in June and "Anna Karenina" this fall, Johnson can do both films and the expectation is that he will. That's quite a career boost for the young actor. And while we hope Lawrence stays on for "Savages" with "The Hunger Games" due in a year from now and with lensing likely to happen this summer, we don't think it's going to happen unless they find a way to work around her schedule.

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