Tony-winning playwright Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina will star stage veterans Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) will begin filming this month in the U.K. and Russia, with a release planned for the second half of 2012.
Set in late 19th century Russia high society, Anna Karenina follows a family torn apart by adultery when Anna (Knightley), a wife and mother, begins an affair with a seductive Count.
Stoppard's many plays include Arcadia, The Real Thing, Rock 'n Roll, Jumpers, The Coast of Utopia and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Knightley last appeared on the London stage in The Children's Hour. She also starred in the 2009 West End production of The Misanthrope. Her many film credits include Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Bend it Like Beckham, Never Let Me Go, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Love Actually. Law is currently starring in the West End production of Anna Christie. He earned Tony nominations for Hamlet and Indiscretions. His film work includes The Talented Mr. Ripley, Artificial Intelligence, Alfie, Closer and Cold Mountain.
Anna Karenina has previously been adapted for both film and television several times, featuring many notable leading ladies in the title role such as Greta Garbo (1935), Vivien Leigh (1948), Jacqueline Bisset (1985) and Sophie Marceau (1997.)