Benjamin Walker, Tom Hiddleston, Lily Colins, Bella Heathcote, and Jessica Brown Findlay Testing for WINTER’S TALE

     February 28, 2012

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Akiva Goldsman has spent the last several years developing an adaptation of Mark Helprin‘s novel Winter’s Tale.  He signed a deal this time last year to make Winter’s Tale his directorial debut, but the progress was impeded when the budget for the supernatural period thriller became a concern at Warner Bros.  Goldsman turned to a pair of marketable A-listers he’s worked with for help: Russell Crowe (Goldsman wrote A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man) and Will Smith (I, Robot and I Am Legend) have agreed to appear in the film, so the project is back on track with $20 million subtracted from the projected budget.  Goldsman is now looking to cast the young leads: Heat Vision hears Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Lily Collins (Abduction), Bella Heathcote (In Time), and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downtown Abbey) will undergo testing over the next two weeks.

The early 20th-century tale centers on “a thief on the run who, when breaking into a wealthy man’s home, strikes up a relationship with the man’s terminally ill daughter.”  Hit the jump for the full book synopsis.

winters-tale-book-cover

New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake–orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side.

Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

Peter Lake, a simple, uneducated man, because of a love that, at first he does not fully understand, is driven to stop time and bring back the dead. His great struggle, in a city ever alight with its own energy and beseiged by unprecedented winters, is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature. [Amazon]

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