Keira Knightley has spent a whole lot of her career in corsets, petticoats and all kinds of other uncomfortable period get-ups, but she seems to do it with good reason. She’s regularly played awesome female characters who at some point get to loosen their corset strings and kick ass, whether passive-aggressively as the family-shunning Cecilia in Atonement or quite literally as Elizabeth in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

For her next movie she’ll again be heading to the past, but as usual, it’s at the service of a pretty great female character. This time, it’s one of the most iconic female characters we have. She’ll play Cordelia, the steadfast daughter of King Lear, in a movie adaptation of the Shakespearean play. The U.K. newspaper The Telegraph reports that Anthony Hopkins will play Lear, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Cordelia’s scheming older sister, Regan. No word on who will play the other bad daughter Goneril, or any of the other roles.

For those of you who skipped that day in high school English, King Lear is about a king who decides to divide up his country among his three daughters based on speeches they give about how much they love him. While Regan and Goneril suck up to their father with flowery language, Cordelia refuses to flatter him, saying “I cannot heave my heart into my mouth: I love your majesty according to my bond, no more nor less.” The result is chaos in the kingdom, resulting in power grabs from Regan and Goneril and their husbands, an army led by the exiled Cordelia, and eventually, Lear’s insanity and death.

So yeah, not exactly Shakespeare in Love we’re dealing with. But the producers promise epic battle scenes, so it won’t be all family tragedy either. Really, it sounds like a promising project. It’s been a long time since a Shakespearean adaptation was a truly big movie in Hollywood, and with names like these, this one seems to have a fighting chance.
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