"New York, I Love You" star
"Bel Ami," filming for which is slated to begin next month in Paris, is an adaptation of an 1885 Guy de Maupassant short story and stars Pattinson as young journalist George Duroy, who rises from rags to riches by seducing Paris' influential society women. Ricci will play Clotilde de Marelle, the wife of an oft-away railway inspector who strikes up a relationship with Duroy. The film also stars Thurman as Clotilde's friend Madeleine Forestier, a onetime friend and mentor who becomes Duroy's lover, and Kristin Scott Thomas as another of Duroy's socialite paramours.
Nicole Kidman was rumored to be playing Madeleine, but she recently told MTV News that the role unfortunately did not fit into her schedule.
"I was [in talks for it], and we couldn't work out the dates," Kidman said.
For his part, Pattinson has said the social-climbing role will be much different from vampiric heartthrob Edward Cullen in "Twilight."
"It's a totally amoral character," Pattinson told Variety.
"Bel Ami" is the first post-"Twilight" movie Pattinson will film outside of Summit Entertainment, and the 23-year-old admitted he feels the need to prove himself. "Before 'Twilight' I did any movie that I got [offered], and you'd try and make the best of it afterward," he explained. "But now you're expected to come into the movie and provide not only economic viability, but also a performance as well. You can't just mess around. People are like, 'We're employing you to be here, as a star and an actor.' It's difficult, and it's scary."
In addition to "Bel Ami," Ricci has several projects slated for production this year, including the animated film "The Hero of Color City" and the drama "Long Time Gone."