Channing Tatum to Star in Catherine the Great Biopic LOVE AND HONOR; Offer Out to Anne Hathaway

     November 5, 2010

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Channing Tatum has signed on to star in Love and Honor, a film based on the life of Catherine the Great written and directed by Randall Wallace (Secretariat).  Tatum will play American soldier Kieran Selkirk, recruited by Benjamin Franklin to convince the Russian Empress not to join the British in war against America: “Selkirk must survive savage terrain, starving wolves, secret assassins, marauding Cossacks, a court of seductive young women, and even a dramatic romantic face-off with the legendary Tsarina herself.”

No word yet on who might play Catherine, but an offer is out to Anne Hathaway to play Beatrice, servant to a Russian princess and love interest to Selkirk.  Wallace is adapting his own 2005 historical fiction novel of the same name; hit the jump for a synopsis.

According to Vulture, the rights were once housed at Disney with Angelina Jolie attached.  But Jolie’s got other iconic female rulers to play.  Disney’s out as well.

Wallace hopes to sell the package at the American Film Market, meeting with financiers tomorrow.  So there’s a good chance we hear an update on this very soon or never again.  Not that you have any say — but which would you prefer?

Here’s the synopsis for Love and Honor: A Novel

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Virginia cavalryman Kieran Selkirk is summoned to a clandestine meeting in the winter of 1774. There he finds none other than Benjamin Franklin, who reveals the brilliant soldier’s assignment: He is to travel to Russia disguised as a British mercenary and convince Catherine the Great not to join the British in their war with America. It is not a quest for the weak of heart, for to succeed, Selkirk must survive savage terrain, starving wolves, secret assassins, marauding Cossacks, a court of seductive young women, and even a dramatic romantic face-off with the legendary Tsarina herself. [Amazon]


Publisher’s Weekly was quick to identify the novel as the hobby of a screenwriter.  The reviewer closed a prescient and uncomplimentary piece with the following:

In true big-screen fashion, he bravely battles wolves in the harsh countryside on a breathless sleigh dash, fights Cossacks, learns of British intrigue, encounters beautiful women from almost every European nation and spreads good wherever he goes. Wallace writes with a melodramatic hand, as if every word carries great import, and his characters are either cartoonish or underdeveloped, with few leaving an impression. Readers will find it a stretch to believe that this single American, despite his quick blade and quicker mind, can really change the destiny of his homeland. Still, the novel should make a fine movie.

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