Page books a classic with 'Jane Eyre' role

5:00 AM PST 05/07/2008 by Steven Zeitchik, AP

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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 several contemporary films 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 several recent U.S. imports, including the Scarlett Johansson period drama "The Other Boleyn Girl."

Miramax is said to be in discussions to board "Jane 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 on the Russia-set biopic "Young Stalin."

The 1847 Victorian novel "Jane Eyre" 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 more than a dozen productions reaching the big and small screens, including BBC-produced miniseries in 1973 and 2006. (partialdiff)
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