Saoirse Ronan, the ferociously talented Irish actress who earned an Oscar nomination at age 13 for her role in Atonement, has been pulling off that crazy teenage actress thing where she doesn't ever go through an awkward phase, but transitions right into bigger and better roles. Last year she starred as the ass-kicking superassassin in the criminally underseen Hanna, early next year she'll be the next person to cash in on the Twilight franchise in an adaptation of Stepheni Meyer's The Host, and now she seems set to return to period dramas in her next project, with a Harry Potter producer along for the ride.

According to Deadline, Ronan is lined up to star in Testament Of Youth, an adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir about working as a nurse during World War I. She was 21 years old when the war broke out in 1914--Ronan turned 18 last month-- and attended college, only to fall in love with a soldier and volunteer as a nurse in solidarity. We won't spoil what happens from there, but given that nearly a million British soldiers were killed in the conflict, you can probably guess not everybody makes it out unscathed.

David Heyman, who produced the entire Harry Potter series and is now using his mountains of money to make smaller projects, is producing the film, which pretty much guarantees it an audience of some size. I, at least, will be fascinated to see what looks like Ronan's first fully grown-up role, playing a young woman thrust into circumstances that required far more maturity than a modern 18-year-old like Ronan would understand. She's proven her ability to slip so well into other characters that I don't doubt for a second she can capture this one as well.

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