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Andrea Riseborough, Matthew Macfadyen & Olivia Williams Join Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 3, 2011 2:22 AM
6 Comments
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Benedict Cumberbatch Out, Choosing To Do Brit WWI-era Mini-series



It's been a while since we've heard anything on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" -- mostly because the press rounds for "Hanna" have ended -- but today comes a fresh bit of casting news about the film. But before we get to that, let's just re-cap for a second shall we? Last fall, came first word that Keira Knightley would re-team with her "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice" director for the film. Then, this spring, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson came aboard with Joe Wright later saying that Kelly Macdonald and Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the film, and that he was waiting on Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy to confirm.

Well, as the Daily Mail reports, there have been minor tweaks, adjustments and additions to the film. First off, it appears that Cumberbatch's commitments to the upcoming WWI-era British television miniseries "Parade's End" -- in which he'll co-star with Rebecca Hall and appear in nearly ever scene -- will prevent him from taking part in "Anna Karenina" so Matthew Macfadyen will step in instead. Additionally, the cast has been beefed up by Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Williams and Domhnall Gleeson all joining.

So, the way it stands now, this is how the casting will play out. Knightley is slotted in the lead role of Anna, with Law as her husband Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin. Macfadyen will play Oblonsky, with Madonald as his wife Dolly. Johnson will play Anna's lover Vronsky with Williams playing Countess Vronskaya, his mother. Gleeson will play Levin and finally, Ronan will play Kitty, Dolly’s sister. No mention of McAvoy who we presume has moved on. Either way, the cast coming together on this is very strong and we're excited to see what they'll pull together.

The film has a script from Tom Stoppard who has tackled the epic story and whittled it down to a two hour film. The plan is for "Anna Karenina" to go in front of cameras in September, with lensing to take place in Britain and Russia.

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6 Comments

  • Lucy | June 4, 2011 5:21 AMReply

    I am so excited this cast looks amazing I always love to see new interpretations of novels I personally love come alive on the screen. Cast looks great, director is great. I have high hopes and can't wait for this film. Hurry up and start filming people I want to see this. Just give Keira a good wig and not the one she wore in pride and prejudice. Beautiful girl but the hair was bad in that. And I wish she would look like she did in the first pirates film

  • dee | June 3, 2011 4:29 AMReply

    I can't wait to see Jude Law in this !

  • J.J. | June 3, 2011 4:05 AMReply

    @HelenW If the quality of the recent adaptations of the similarly done-to-death Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are any indication, it shouldn't matter how many times Anna Karenina has been filmed. These classic stories are always fair game for new and interesting interpretations, and I have confidence that Wright will be able to pull this off—especially with this cast.

  • HelenW | June 3, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    Anna Karenina has been done to death. This wont get a large audience

  • holly | June 3, 2011 3:24 AMReply

    I;d have loved to have seen Cumberbatch in the film but his WW1 series for HBO and the BBC is awesome so its a great swap. Tom Stoppard has written the scripts for the series as well. His first for the BBc in 20 years,

  • Dee | June 3, 2011 2:35 AMReply

    Pretty sick cast.

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