In "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Hermione Granger begins S.P.E.W., the Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare, to advocate for the rights of her short-statured magical friends. Now the actress who plays her is about to fall in love with one. Well, sort of. Emma Watson, known to millions as Harry Potter's pal, has signed on to "Napoleon and Betsy," a period drama about a romance between a young girl and the former emperor of France in the last years of the despot's life, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be the 18-year-old actress' first leading film role outside of the "Harry Potter" franchise. The movie, written and directed by Benjamin Ross, will center on Napoleon's life beginning in 1815, starting with his imprisonment and exile to the British-held island of St. Helena. Initially, Napoleon was held captive at "The Briars," an estate belonging to William Balcombe. It was there that he befriended Balcombe's pubescent daughter, Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy), in a relationship that may have bordered on romantic love. The pair spent three years together before their relationship ended when Balcombe was accused of facilitating communication between Napoleon and loyal supporters in Paris. According to the magazine, the part of Betsy was originally slated to be played by Scarlett Johansson, who ultimately left the project after the part skewed younger.
Watson is currently filming "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment in the blockbuster series. Early next year, she'll return for the seventh and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which will be broken into two parts.
"Napoleon and Betsy" is slated for release in 2009.
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