Knightley eyes starring role in Zelda biopic

Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:40pm EDT

Actress Keira Knightley arrives for the world premiere of ''The Duchess'' at Leicester Square in London September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Actress Keira Knightley arrives for the world premiere of ''The Duchess'' at Leicester Square in London September 3, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British actress Keira Knightley is in negotiations to play Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in "The Beautiful and the Damned."

Actor-turned-helmer Nicker Cassavetes ("The Notebook") will direct the biopic for independent production company the Film Department. Hanna Weg wrote the screenplay.

"Damned" revolves around Zelda Sayre (Knightley) and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who became Jazz Age icons known for living large, soaring high and crashing hard. They were toasts of the town in the 1920s, but their courtship and marriage were filled with jealousy and acrimony. Fitzgerald used their relationship as material for his novels, as did Sayre, who tried to find an artistic identity of her own and ended up being admitted to a sanitarium.

"Damned" would continue Knightley's love affair with period movies. The actress stars in "The Duchess," set in 18th century England, and her recent credits include the World War I drama "Atonement" and "Silk," set in 19th century France and Japan.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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