Jessica Brown Findlay Scores Lead Role in New Fantasy 'Winter's Tale'
If you're like me, you still haven't caught up with the PBS series "Downton Abbey" despite hearing rave reviews about it. So please excuse my unfamiliarity with the work of Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays Lady Sybill Cawley on the show, but the actress has just signed onto a project that will definitely give her more exposure. According to Deadline, Findlay has won the coveted lead role in Winter's Tale, the century-spanning epic based on Mark Helprin's book set to be the directorial debut of A Beautiful Mind screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. We'll ignore his work on the Schumacher Batman films for now. Read on!
The book is about Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar who breaks into a mansion in New York City, only to fall in love with the daughter of his mark when he finds she's still in the house, sick and dying. Lake is able to stop time and bring back the dead, and there's also a flying horse involved. The story sounds like one of the few books these days I actually want to take the time to read, so here's hoping Goldsman can turn it into a good movie. He's already changed one element of the book by dropping the age of the male protagonist: Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson and TRON: Legacy hero Garrett Hedlund are vying for that part right now, but neither has officially been cast yet.
Goldsman has been working steadily enough in Hollywood that he's got the clout to pull a few favors, and his supporting cast is evidence of that. Russell Crowe is in final negotiations to play a half demon named Pearly Soames (a character we previously heard was just a gangster), and Goldsman's I, Robot star Will Smith is still rumored to join as well. Filming starts this fall in New York with a 2013 release expected.