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John Curran to helm Keira Knightley in 'Beautiful and the Damned'

Variety.com and MTV News both reported that filmmaker John Curran ("The Painted Veil" and "We Don't Live Here Anymore") is set to direct "The Beautiful and the Damned," a Film Department period drama that will star Keira Knightley. Curran is replacing Nick Cassavetes, who was originally set to helm the film.

Keira will play the famous Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the wife and muse of author F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The movie will focus on the tempestous marriage of the Fitzgeralds. They were the rich and beautiful celebrity couple of the 1920s, and Zelda was the inspiration for many an American flapper. She was also the inspiration for many of her husband’s heroines. But despite their wealth and glamour, their marriage was often unhappy. Fitzgerald often lifted material from her diaries for his stories, which Zelda, an aspiring author herself, resented.

As he achieved literary acclaim, she decided to become a ballerina, practicing into severe exhaustion. Committed to a hospital, she then diagnosed with scizophrenia, which explained much of her erratic and self-destructive behavior.

As Fitzgerald is enjoying a renaissance in Hollywood (”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is based on one of his short stories, and as we reported earlier, “The Great Gatsby” will be remade by Baz Luhrmann), it’s fitting that Zelda will get her time in the spotlight. The film is expected to shoot in March, but no one other than Knightley has been cast.

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