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Downton Abbey Star Joins Winter's Tale

Jessica Brown Findlay on board

Though producing pal Brian Grazer recently managed to score some renewed interest in the Dark Tower adaptation, writer / producer Akiva Goldsman isn’t letting the thought that he’ll be polishing that script detract him from finally calling the shots on passion project Winter’s Tale. He’s already reached out to Russell Crowe and Will Smith to take supporting roles and has locked in his female lead, with Jessica Brown Findlay on to star.

Findlay, who appeared in last year’s Albatross, is probably better known these days as Lady Sybill Cawley from Downton Abbey. But she’ll be trading contentious toff types for Noo Yoik attitude, playing a dying young woman who falls for the thief that breaks into her swanky West Side mansion.

Goldsman has adapted the story from Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel, a sprawling narrative that flits between modern-day and 19th century New York. There are also supernatural elements to deal with, as Crowe is in talks to play mob boss / part-demon Pearly Soames.

According to Deadline, Kick Ass’ Aaron Johnson and Tron Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund are the current front-runners to take on the burglar role, and Goldsman is set to start shooting this October.