English director Joe Wright tells About.com the prospect of shooting Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is in the fall. And that he got Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard working on the script.
Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) is currently doing press for his upcoming teen assassin thriller Hanna which looks like a big removal from his “Prejudice”. However, Wright is coming back to the world of classic literature adaptations:
I’m hoping to do ‘Anna Karenina’ in the Autumn and I’m reading about St. Petersburg society in the 18th century… You can make a 2 hour movie if you’ve got Tom Stoppard writing. He’s done an amazing script which involves Levin’s story as well as Anna’s story. Yeah, Tom Stoppard is just..also, he’s so immersed in Russian history and culture and identity or lack of it”
he says. According to The Daily Mail Tom Stoppard’s script was already done before Christmas 2010. Asked about settling such a heavy tome, Wright says:
I think Tolstoy wrote it as an accessible piece. It’s a family drama. ‘War and Peace’ was his big political drama and ‘Anna Karenina,’ as he says in the first sentence, is about families. ‘Happy families are all happy in the same way. Unhappy families are all unhappy in different ways.’
The most famous and critically acclaimed film version of Anna Karenina is a 1935 creation directed by Clarence Brown, top-lining amazing Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Basil Rathbone and Maureen O’Sullivan. The 1967 Soviet Union romance with Tatyana Samojlova is also generating a high-like feeling among the audience.
Obviously, Stoppard’s adaptation will be contemporary as he wrote it to be read by the new emerging literate Russian population. And we hope far better than the last movie versions.
Keira Knightley, Wright’s star from “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice,” was previously attached to play the titular Anna and that apparently still is the case, though Wright wouldn’t confirm her name directly:
“Not sure yet. It’s fairly obvious, but I can’t quite say. She hasn’t signed on the line yet. I’m loyal to my actors.”
Get back to the good old classic and waiting for upcoming news.