Downton's Lily James to star in 'War and Peace'?


Paul Dano and Downton Abbey's Lily James rumored for BBC One's War and PeaceLooks like Downton Abbey‘s Lily James is getting dangerously close to Benedict Cumberbatch waters these days when it comes to her name being rumored for parts in virtually everything that is slated for production. Having just finished her lead role in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, the actress who plays Lady Rose in Downton Abbey is, according to Deadline, now said to be up for the lead role of Natasha Rostova in the BBC’s forthcoming adaptation of War And Peace. Scripted for the small screen by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, House of Cards), the series will be a co-production of BBC Worldwide, The Weinstein Company and Look Out Point (Ripper Street).

Rostova, one of the central characters in the 1869 Leo Tolstoy novel, ultimately falls in love with Pierre Bezukhov (rumored to be played by Prisoners’ Paul Dano), the awkward illegitimate son who rises in society but leads a tumultuous life as he seeks to overcome his emotions. In King Vidor’s 1956 feature film adaptation, the roles were played by Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda. An early 70’s BBC adaptation starred Anthony Hopkins as Pierre.

Set in 1805 Russia and revolving around five aristocratic families, War and Peace is set against the backdrop of the reign of Alexander I, the lingering effects of his grandmother Catherine The Great’s rule and the events surrounding Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. The new, 6-part, adaptation for BBC One and PBS’ Masterpiece series will air in 2015, a year which already can boast a drama line-up of the likes of Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, Call the Midwife, Poldark and, cross your fingers, Sherlock. Hey, a boy can dream, can’t he?