Downton Abbey star Lily James 'in talks' to appear in War and Peace

The actress would play Natasha Rostova in the reworking of Tolstoy’s novel

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Downton Abbey actress Lily James is reportedly set to star in another period drama as she engages in talks to appear in a BBC adaptation of War And Peace.

The 25-year-old, who plays Lady Rose in Julian Fellowes’ popular series, would take on the role of heroine Natasha Rostova in the reworking of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel.

American actor Paul Dano, whose films include There Will Be Blood and 12 Years A Slave, will play her lover Pierre Bezukhov, an illegitimate son who rises in society, according to Deadline.

The pair would be following in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda, who played the couple in King Vidor’s 1956 film.

Award-winning scriptwriter Andrew Davies, whose previous TV adaptations have included Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice and Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit - is writing the series.


He previously said of the project: “War And Peace is not just a great novel, it's a wonderful read and it'll make a wonderful serial.

"A thrilling, funny and heart-breaking story of love, war and family life. The characters are so natural and human and easy to identify with, and Natasha Rostova just beats Lizzie Bennet as the most lovable heroine in literature."

James will next be seen starring on the big screen in Cinderella, Disney's live action adaptation of the classic fairytale, directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.

War And Peace, produced by The Weinstein Company as part of its new venture into European TV, is due to air on BBC One next year. The story, set during the French invasion of Russia, tracks the lives of five aristocratic families.

Additional reporting by Press Association