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by Jay A. Fernandez
May 20, 2012 6:00 AM
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CANNES: BBC Films to Produce Simon Curtis Drama 'The Golden Lady,' New Saoirse Ronan Film 'Testament of Youth'

Director Simon Curtis
BBC Films is adding new projects with “My Week With Marilyn” director Simon Curtis and “Hanna” star Saoirse Ronan to its slate, the company announced in Cannes Sunday.

Curtis will direct the drama “The Golden Lady,” which tells the real-life story of how Maria Altmann and a young lawyer fought to reclaim several Klimt paintings stolen by the Nazis, including a famous portrait of Altmann’s aunt. Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell wrote the screenplay, and Origin Pictures’ David M. Thompson (“The First Grader”) is producing.

Ronan is attached to star in the World War I drama “Testament of Youth,” which “Calendar Girls” co-writer Juliette Towhidi adapted from the 1933 Vera Brittain memoir about how the war affected the women of the U.K. and her years as a nurse and journalist. “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman of Heyday Films is producing.

The two new projects join a roster of films that Langan has in development or post-production, including the Dustin Hoffman-directed “Quartet,” which the

Weinstein Co. will release; an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel “A Long Way Down” to be directed by “Heartbreaker” helmer Pascal Chaumeil; Hornby’s adaptation of the Colm Toibin novel “Brooklyn,” which has Rooney Mara attached to star; the crime comedy “Dom Hemingway,” written and directed by “The Matador” filmmaker Richard Shepard and starring Jude Law; the real-life drama “Saving Mr. Banks,” with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney; the Steve Coogan-Armando Iannucci collaboration “The Alan Partridge Movie”; and the Ralph Fiennes-helmed drama “The Invisible Woman,” starring Felicity Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas.

BBC Films’ “Broken,” which Rufus Norris directed, opened Critics Week at Cannes this week, and the company’s “iLL Manors,” the directorial debut of rapper Plan B (Ben Drew), is selling at the festival market.

Recent BBC Films releases include “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Jane Eyre,” “Coriolanus” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” Forthcoming films include “Now is Good,” “Great Expectations,” “Shadow Dancer” and “360.”

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