Ben Barnes to shine as Dorian Gray


CANNES -- Ben Barnes, currently on screens as Prince Caspian, will lay down his sword after being cast to play Oscar Wilde's iconic character Dorian Gray in an adaptation of the author's novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

Producer Barnaby Thompson and director Oliver Parker, who previously teamed to make "An Ideal Husband" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" and most recently co-directed "St. Trinian's" will make "Dorian Gray" at the end of July this year.

Thompson will produce through his Fragile Films label, now owned by Ealing Studios, with Parker helming. Producer and director Thompson said Parker is planning to make a visceral, dark horror story and says the themes of stardom are as relevant as ever.

Parker and Thompson are also re-teaming behind the lens to movie "St Trinian's: The Legend Of Fritton's Gold" armed with a "little more than the first one's" $15 million budget and reteaming the writers from the first one, Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft.

Thompson said he was confident Colin Firth and Rupert Everett will come back for the second outing and was also hoping Gemma Arterton, the actress whose profile keeps on rising, would also come back.

It details the story of the school girls going on a treasure quest after discovering secret papers in the school library. Also on Ealing's production slate is "Where Hands Touch," a $15 million budgeted World War II drama written and to be directed by Amma Asante. BAFTA winner Asante turned heads with her writer director debut "A Way Of Life".
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