'The Duchess' has a duke with Fiennes


Ralph Fiennes will star opposite Keira Knightley in "The Duchess." The film is backed by Pathe Prods. and BBC Films.

Fiennes joins a cast that already includes Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper for the picture from Magnolia Mae Prods. and Qwerty Films.

The movie is scheduled to begin shooting in London this month. It is directed by Saul Dibb and produced by Qwerty's Michael Kuhn and Magnolia Mae's Gabrielle Tana.

Adapted by Jeffery Hatcher from Amanda Foreman's historical biography "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire," the film revolves around an 18th century duchess and her life and loves.

The backers said the film bears uncanny parallels with that of her descendant, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Pathe Distribution will distribute the film in the U.K. and France, and Pathe International will handle international sales.