By Simon Dang | The Playlist November 8, 2010 at 2:52AM
Anne Hathaway Offered Role Opposite Tatum
Increasingly popular actor Channing Tatum is attached to star in Randall Wallace's gestating project based on his own 2005 historical work of fiction, "Love And Honor," a period espionage tale centering on Russian czarina and alleged admirer of horses Catherine The Great.
The project was previously set up at Disney with Angelina Jolie linked to the lead role though that's no longer the case despite Wallace's relationship with the studio, having just written and directed "Secreteriat." Rather, he'll be meeting with potential financiers at the currently running American Film Market trying to put a new package together. Vulture also adds that an offer is reportedly already out to Anne Hathaway for the leading role of Beatrice, an attendant to a princess in Catherine's court who doubles as love interest for Tatum's character -- a Virginia cavalryman named Kieran Selkirk sent by to Russia by Benjamin Franklin to pose as a British mercenary.
The Amazon page for the work describes the story as a "tale of swashbuckling and derring-do set in late-eighteenth-century Russia. In 1774, the British already realize that they are going to be in trouble if their American colonies revolt and have asked Catherine the Great, czarina of Russia, for 20,000 soldiers to assist in stamping out any resistance in America. In response to this threat to independence, Virginian cavalryman Kieran Selkirk is recruited by crafty spymaster Benjamin Franklin to travel to Russia posing as a British mercenary. Once in St. Petersburg, the plan is for him to offer his services to Catherine in her fight against the rebellious Cossacks, thus gaining her favor (it doesn't hurt that Selkirk is young and handsome--sure to draw the czarina's notoriously lusty attentions) and convincing her not to send the soldiers."
Sounds like a Russian-set epic potentially in the vein of an "Anastasia" or "Doctor Zhivago" but can Randall -- the writer of such films as "Braveheart," "The Man In The Iron Mask" and "Pearl Harbour" -- shape the story into something compelling while steering clear of cliché and sentimentality? We'll withhold judgment until the project progresses further.