'Jane Eyre' adaptation attracts cast

Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins in negotiations

BERLIN -- Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins and Imogen Poots are in negotiations to join the cast of "Jane Eyre," an adaptation of the classic Charlotte Bronte novel.

Cary Fukunaga is directing for BBC Films and Focus Features, which is handling sales at EFM.

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are at the center of the Gothic tale, which follows young governess Jane Eyre (Wasikowska), who falls in love with her employer, Edward Rochester (Fassbender), but discovers he harbors a dark secret.

Bell will play St. John, a clergyman who turns out to be Eyre's cousin. Dench will play Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper of Thornfield Manor, who disapproves of Eyre's engagement with Rochester.

Hawkins is Mrs. Reed, Eyre's aunt, who adopts her but abuses and neglects her until death.

Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Films are producing with BBC Films and Focus.

Bell, repped by WME and AIM, next stars in the Roman epic adventure "The Eagle of the Ninth," which Focus financed and is releasing in the U.S.

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Dench was last seen in the Weinstein Co.'s "Nine," while Hawkins, repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, last appeared in "An Education" and has three films in the can, including "It's a Wonderful Afterlife," "Never Let Me Go" and "We Want Sex."

Poots, repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group, appeared in "Me & Orson Welles" and "28 Weeks Later."