Filmmaker to helm Keira Knightley drama

John Curran is set to direct “The Beautiful and the Damned,” a Film Department period drama that will star Keira Knightley. Pic begins production in March.

Hanna Weg script concerns the turbulent marriage of alcoholic writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his mercurial wife Zelda Sayre, who was schizophrenic. The tempestuous relationship, which unfolded in the high society of the Roaring ’20s, inspired some of the novelist’s works.

Curran previously helmed “The Painted Veil” and “We Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

Knightley will play Sayre, which reportedly had Nick Cassavetes as its director last September. He fell out along the way.

Fitzgerald has become quite hot in Hollywood: His short story inspired the David Fincher-directed “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Baz Luhrmann recently acquired rights to turn Fitzgerald’s masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” into a new film.

Lance Sloane and Devin Sloane are producing with Film Dept.’s Mark Gill and Robert Katz; Neil Sacker and Michael Goguen are exec producers.

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