BBC Films putting on 'Eyre' with Ellen Page

Role would be first period piece for 'Juno' star

NEW YORK -- Jane Eyre could be taking another swoon on the big screen -- with Ellen Page playing the iconic British character.

BBC Films has signed on to develop an adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte novel and has attached Page to play Jane. Ruby Films is producing the project; no director is yet attached. Moira Buffini wrote the screenplay.

The role would mark the first period piece for Page, who has signed on to a number of contemporary pics since her Oscar-nominated turn in "Juno," including the roller-derby comedy "Whip It!" and the dramatic thriller "Peacock." She opted out of Sam Raimi's supernatural tale "Drag Me to Hell" this year, citing scheduling conflicts.

Alison Owen's Ruby Films is behind is behind a number of recent U.S. imports, including the Scarlett Johansson period drama "The Other Boleyn Girl."

Miramax Films is said to be in discussions to board "Eyre." The Disney division is collaborating with BBC Films on the upcoming Julian Jarrold World War II drama "Brideshead Revisited," which it is distributing stateside in the summer, and with Ruby Films on the Russia-set biopic "Young Stalin."

The 1847 Victorian novel "Jane Eyre," of course, tells the epic love story of a governess and her master, Edward Rochester. It's among the most filmed English novels of all time, with well over a dozen productions reaching the big and small screens, including BBC-produced miniseries in 1973 and 2006.

Under its previous incarnation with the Weinsteins, Miramax also made a version of the gothic tale, a 1996 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, which starred Charlotte Gainsbourg as the adult Jane.

Over the years, actresses ranging from Joan Fontaine to Susannah York also have played the title character.
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