Following her debut part in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, everyone predicted that Freida Pinto would be the next big thing. Fast forward three years and she's only had one other film come out, Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, which received very little attention. This year should be quite an improvement, with Rise of the Apes, Julian Schnabel's Miral, and Tarsem Singh's Immortals arriving in theaters, but she needs more if she's properly going to make her way to the A-list. Michael Winterbottom is going to help her out with that.

Deadline reports (confirming the story The Playlist had over a week ago) that Pinto has signed on to star in Trishna, an adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel (not that Tom Hardy) Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Moving the setting to India, the film centers on the son of a wealthy industrialist, played by Riz Ahmed, who falls in love with the daughter of a rickshaw operator, who will be played by Pinto. This is the third time that Winterbottom has adapted Hardy's work, having previously directed Jude and The Claim. The production is set to begin in Rajasthan and Mumbai at the end of the month.

I don't think I'll ever understand why Pinto's career has taken so slow to get going after such an incredible debut, but, at the same time, she's giving herself the opportunity to work with some truly great directors. Perhaps this is one beautiful actress who won't settle for humping a motorcycle in a Michael Bay film.

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