Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes will pair up as an unhappy aristocratic couple
in the 18th-century-set costume drama The Duchess.
Knightley, currently collecting rave reviews for her performance in Joe Wright's
Atonement, is to portray the scandalous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, in a
film adaptation of the eponymous 1998 bestselling biography by Amanda Foreman.
Georgiana was a socialite and celebrated beauty who maintained a famed literary
salon, gambled her money away, and led a menage-a-trois with her husband and his
mistress - who was also Georgiana's best friend.
Fiennes, who was seen this summer as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix, will portray the Duke of Devonshire, who married his
mistress once Georgiana passed away - and took up another lover straight away.
British actor Dominic Cooper, who played Dakin in the 2005 Alan Bennett play The
History Boys at the National Theatre, will portray Earl Grey, one of the many
lovers of the Duchess of Devonshire.
The adaptation is helmed by Saul Dibb, who directed the 2006 TV series The Line
of Beauty, from the Alan Hollinghurst Booker-prize winning novel. Filming begins
later this month in London.