Actress Keira Knightley will portray Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle in the forthcoming film remake of the classic 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady.
The Telegraph reports that "Pride and Prejudice" director Joe Wright will reunite with Knightley for the movie musical. Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson is penning the screenplay that includes additional material from Shaw's Pygmalion.
Knightly, who will star in the West End revival of The Misanthrope in December, was among the first names bandied about when the remake was announced in 2008. A Steady Rain's Daniel Craig has been mentioned as a candidate for Professor Henry Higgins.
"My Fair Lady" is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Duncan Kenworthy. As previously reported, the creative team intends to film on location in London to give the film an authentic feel. According to a previous statement, producers hope to "dramatize as believably as possible for present-day audiences the emotional highs and lows of Eliza Doolittle as she undergoes the ultimate makeover, transforming under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins from a Cockney flower girl to a lady."
Knightley has appeared on screen in "Atonement," "The Duchess," "The Edge of Love," "Pride and Prejudice," "Bend It Like Beckham," "Domino" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.
My Fair Lady is based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and features a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The original Broadway production opened on March 15, 1956, ran for over six years and won nine Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical. The score contains such Broadway classics as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "Get Me to the Church on Time."
The musical was adapted for the screen in 1963, directed by George Cukor, and cast Audrey Hepburn as Eliza and Rex Harrison as Higgins. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.