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English ingénue Carey Mulligan broke through internationally in 2009 with the delicate drama An Education. Not only did her performance win her the world's notice, it also earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Since then, Mulligan has been attached to one daring endeavor after another, from Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive to Steve McQueen's Shame, and Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming Great Gatsby. She's been attached to Fox Searchlight's in-development adaptation of Thomas Hardy's renowned novel Far from the Madding Crowd since last fall, and is finally close to committing as her could-be co-stars are being cast.
For the story of one woman torn between her affection for three different suitors, The Daily Mail reports director Thomas Vinterberg is searching for three male leads that each represent three different takes on masculinity. The Danish director who recently helmed the BAFTA-nominated drama The Hunt is said to be eying Matthew Goode (Stoker) for the role of Frank Troy, a swashbuckling soldier with plenty of swagger. Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, who recently co-starred with Marion Cotillard on the acclaimed French romance Rust and Bone, has been offered the role of Gabriel Oak, a red-blooded but kind shepherd. There's no word yet on who might play the final love interest, rich farmer William Boldwood.
Hardy's novel has been adapted several times before, perhaps most memorably starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Alan Bates and Peter Finch. However, Vinterberg promises his adaptation—penned by One Day author/adapter David Nicholls—will be unlike anything audiences have seen before, promising something "raw and revolutionary" and not your typical English period piece with "lovely clothes and nice fireplaces."
Far from the Madding Crowd will shoot this summer.