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"Bel Ami" is an adaptation of 19th-century French writer Guy de Maupassant's short story of the same name. The plot follows Georges Duroy (Pattinson), a Parisian journalist and notorious ladies' man who overcomes a poverty-stricken childhood to become one of the city's foremost movers and shakers. Thurman is set to play the wife of Duroy's friend who eventually marries him after assisting in his personal and professional rise in French society.
Word of the project first leaked out in May at the Cannes Film Festival, when Pattinson announced his intention to take the lead role, calling Duroy "a totally amoral character" and saying that whoever was cast as the female lead "needs to be literally inspirational." At the time, no casting decision had been made, but in early November rumors that Kidman would join the project began to circulate.
"I was [in talks for it], and we couldn't work out the dates," Kidman told MTV News recently, adding, "I think he's a really fine actor, actually, because he wants to be great. He's working with the right people."
Shooting is set to begin early next year in Paris, with a release date booked for 2011.
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