Campion's period pic follows poet John Keats

LONDON — Paul Schneider and Kerry Fox have joined the cast of Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a period pic about English poet John Keats and his secret love affair with the girl next door.

“Bright Star” is an ill-fated romance toplining Ben Whishaw as Keats and Aussie thesp Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne, the poet’s muse. The passionate relationship was cut short when Keats died aged just 25.

Schneider will play Keats’ best friend, Charles Armitage Brown, and Fox will play Fanny’s mother.

Schneider recently turned heads in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” and “Lars and the Real Girl.” He was named as one of Variety’s 10 actors to watch in October 2007.

Fox has appeared in “Shallow Grave” and “Welcome to Sarajevo.”

Jan Chapman and Caroline Hewitt produce the pic, which is shooting on location in the U.K.

Pic is backed by Pathe, Film Finance Corporation Australia, BBC Films, the U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, the New South Wales Film and Television Office, and Hopscotch International.

Pathe will release the film theatrically in the U.K. and France, with Hopscotch handling the Oz release. Pathe International is handling international sales.

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