April 18, 2008 / 6:10 AM / 12 years ago

Emma Watson replaces "old" Johansson in romance

Actress Emma Watson arrives for the first ever National Movie Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London September 28, 2007. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Harry Potter” heroine Emma Watson is attached to star in the period romance “Napoleon and Betsy,” replacing Scarlett Johansson who was deemed too old for the role.

Watson, 18, will play Betsy Balcombe, a young, impetuous noblewoman trapped on the isolated British island of St. Helena who falls in love with Napoleon, who has been exiled there.

Johansson, 23, is still serving as a producer. The indie project comes from writer-director Benjamin Ross.

Watson is known for her role as Hermione Granger in Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” films, and is completing filming on the sixth installment, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

With filming of the last chapter, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” scheduled to commence in early 2009, Watson hopes to shoot “Napoleon and Betsy” in the fall.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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