Scorsese, King bowing to 'Victoria'

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Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" will vie against "The Queen" at the upcoming Academy Awards, but the multihyphenate already is turning his attention to the British monarchy.

Initial Entertainment Group's Graham King and Scorsese are set to produce the drama "The Young Victoria," about the early life of the iconic queen, with Jean-Marc Vallee helming the period project.

Penned by Academy Award-winning scribe Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park"), the story will chronicle Victoria's early rise to power, focusing on the turbulent years of her long reign and her storied romance and marriage to Prince Albert. Victoria, who ascended the throne at age 18, ruled over the U.K. from 1837-1901.

King was introduced to the project by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, who provided unique insight into the popular monarch's life.

"We all think we know Queen Victoria from the latter part of her life, but in fact she was an amazing, dynamic, romantic personality from a very early age that is largely unknown," King said. "I had been searching for a British project for many years, so I am just thrilled to bring her story to life. And to do so in partnership with Marty is a special joy."

King and Scorsese will produce alongside Tim Headington, and Ferguson also is attached. Denis O'Sullivan will shepherd the project for Initial.

The 12-year-old production shingle's credits include "The Departed," "Blood Diamond," "The Aviator," "Gangs of New York," "Ali" and "Traffic."

Vallee, who made his feature directorial debut with the thriller "Black List," also helmed the coming-of-age tale "C.R.A.Z.Y.," which earned the best Canadian film prize at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005. He is repped by ICM.

Fellowes, whose writing credits also include "Vanity Fair," made his feature directorial debut with the Tom Wilkinson-Emily Watson starrer "Separate Lies." He is repped by ICM and attorney George Davis.
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