Joe Wright is nothing if not a visual master. Even if you’re not a fan of some of his output (“Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement,” “The Soloist” and “Hanna”), there’s no denying his remarkable flair for the cinematic. If the just-released trailer for his anticipated take on “Anna Karenina” is any indication, his latest looks to be his most visually breathtaking effort yet.
Despite Wright’s risky choice to keep this adaptation, written by Tom Stoppard, stagebound for the most part (the trailer seems to indicate that the massive stage opens up onto real-life locations), his “Anna Karenina” looks ambitious in scope, with gorgeous set and costume design to boot.
Indiewire sat down with Wright prior to “Hanna” hitting theaters in April 2011. The director talked about his “Anna Karenina” project, which he was in the midst of shooting at the time. “With ‘Anna Karenina,’ the idea of a challenge to take on such an extraordinary work of fiction is really exciting,” he said. “Tolstoy’s analysis of motivation and character is so extraordinary, it’s so acute. I also said I’d do it if Tom Stoppard wrote the script, and he said yes. For me, every film is an education. To sit at the feet of the master and learn from him is an amazing opportunity for me. I also really wanted to work with Keira [Knightley] again — and in fact, a whole company of British actors. I was really enjoying the idea of doing a film that’s more about the actors than ‘Hanna,’ which was about the action.”
The film opens in the U.K., Ireland and Spain September 7 before hitting select U.S. cinemas November 9 via Focus Features.