Keira Knightley eyes Catherine the Great biopic

Keira Knightley has a new project in the works and, despite her range, it’s not the Deadpool sequel.


According to a story today at The Hollywood Reporter, the two-time Academy Award nominee is eyeing a Catherine the Great biopic that has Barbra Streisand attached to direct. Scripted by Kristina Lauren Anderson, the Catherine the Great biopic topped the 2014 “Black List” of unproduced screenplays with the following official logline:

Sophia Augusta takes control of her life, her marriage, and her kingdom becoming Russia’s most celebrated and beloved monarch: Catherine the Great.

Herself a two-time Academy Award winner for acting, Barbra Streisand made her directorial debut in 1983 with the musical drama Yentl, in which she also starred. She followed that with The Prince of Tides in 1991 and The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996. This Catherine the Great biopic will mark Streisand’s first narrative feature as director in more than two decades.

The story of Catherine the Great has been a popular one for filmic adaptations. Marlene Dietrich famously played the part in Josef von Sternberg’s 1934 classic The Scarlet Empress and, more recently, Catherine Zeta-Jones played the part for a 1996 television miniseries, also titled Catherine the Great.

Knightley, whose Oscar nominations came with 2006’s Pride and Predjudice and 2014’s The Imitation Game, most recently starred in Everest alongside Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal. She can next be seen in director David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty. Also set to star Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris and Michael Pena, Collateral Beauty will hit the big screen December 16.


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