by: Sammy Mink
Lily James and Paul Dano are circling to lead the BBC miniseries WAR AND PEACE. The six-part adaptation comes from BBC Worldwide, The Weinstein Company and Look Out Point and is being written by Andrew Davies, the writer of “Brideshead Revisited” and the “Bridget Jones” series of films.
The book centers on five aristocratic families during the reign of Alexander I and depicts the effects of the Napoleanic era on Russian high society. James would play Natasha Rostova, a young girl who falls in love with Pierre Bezukhov (Dano’s potential character) who is the illegitimate son of the Russian high society who attempts to rise above his circumstances.
James is most well known for one of her most recent roles, playing Lady Rose MacClare in BBC’s “Downton Abbey.” She also appeared in a more risque series, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and was very recently cast in John Wells’ “Adam Jones” with Bradley Cooper, Emma Thompson and Jamie Dornan. Her next role is the lead in Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming family flick “Cinderella” for Disney.
While Dano has played mostly quirky characters in the past, including Dwayne in “Little Miss Sunshine” and Alex Jones in “Prisoners,” he has also appeared in more traditional roles in “Cowboys & Aliens” and “12 Years a Slave.” Next up, Dano will play Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys biopic “Love & Mercy.”
As a sucker for BBC miniseries, I’m pretty excited about this project. It’ll be difficult to cram all of the drama in “War & Peace” into an 8-part miniseries, but if anyone can do it, it’s BBC.