Matthew Rhys and Eileen Atkins Sign to Star in 'The Scapegoat'

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Charles Sturridge pens and will direct the screen adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1957 novel.

LONDON -- Matthew Rhys and Eileen Atkins have signed to star in The Scapegoat, a screen adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1957 novel.

Rhys, best known for his long-running role in Brothers and Sisters, will star in the movie version penned and to be directed by Charles Sturridge.

BIlled as a psychological thriller, the script details the story of a man who meets his perfect double and takes over his life.

The project marks the debut movie production from Island Pictures, the U.K. film and TV production banner unfurled by Dominic Minghella and Sarah Beardsall.

The movie is due for transmission on ITV1 in 2012, and will be followed by a worldwide theatrical distribution rollout plan to be managed by Content Media Corporation.

ITV and Content Film, Content Television and Digital have provided financial backing for the project.

The movie will be produced by Beardsall and Minghella.

Beardsall, a former high flying casting director whose resume boasts Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Talented Mr Ripleyand TV's Inspector Morse described the project as a "landmark" for Island Pictures.

"This [The Scapegoat] is our calling-card, and a statement of intent - to produce film and television with the highest of ambitions," Beardsall said.

Sturridge said it was a daunting prospect, trying to bring du Maurier's novel to life on the screen after both Alfred Hitchcock and Nic Roeg had previously done adaptations of the writer's work.

"I loved the story from the moment I read it and the extraordinary mix of brilliant characters surrounding these mirror image men,” Sturridge said.