Actress to star in 'Pettigrew,' 'Burn'

Focus Features has booked Frances McDormand for back-to-back pics.

McDormand will play the title character in “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” an adaptation of the Winifred Watson period comic novel that will shoot in London in April. Bharat Nalluri, who is coming off the HBO pic “Tsunami: The Aftermath,” will direct. The script was written by Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) and David Magee (“Finding Neverland”). Nellie Bellflower and Stephen Garrett are producing.

She plays a governess in 1938 who gets a taste of glamour when she goes to work in the home of a nightclub songstress. One of Pettigrew’s chores is to sort out the entertainer’s unrespectable affairs.

McDormand will then head to New York to star opposite George Clooney in “Burn After Reading,” a dark comedy about the CIA that will be directed and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. Film is also being produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner’s Working Title.

The film will mark McDormand’s fifth film with the Coens (she’s married to Joel). Aside from her Oscar-winning turn in “Fargo,” McDormand starred in “Raising Arizona,” “Miller’s Crossing” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

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