Bettany, Connelly to star in Darwin pic

Husband and wife will play Charles and Emma Darwin

LONDON -- Real-life husband and wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have signed on to play a married couple in "Creation," Jon Amiel's project about the life of Charles Darwin.

Bettany will play the British father of evolutionary theory, and Connelly will play his wife, Emma, in the big-screen take on the life of the controversial "On the Origin of Species" author.

"John Collee's compelling script tells the remarkable story behind Darwin's revolutionary theory and the foundation of a book that changed the world," said Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, the force behind the project. "We think of Darwin as an old man with a gray beard. The reality of our story is very different."

Amiel's film portrays Darwin as a man torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. The scientist finds himself caught in a struggle between faith and reason, love and truth.

Collee's script is based on Randal Keynes' book "Annie's Box," about the life of Darwin, his great great grandfather.

Also joining the cast are Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch. The key role of daughter Annie will be announced soon.

Shooting starts at the end of September on location in England and is a Recorded Picture Co. production, co-developed with BBC Films and the U.K. Film Council.

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution, and Icon Film Distribution has U.K. and Australia theatrical rights.