Thesp joins Fiennes, Law, Murray, Schwartzman in Anderson pic

Having established herself as one of the leading dramatic actresses of her generation with turns in “Atonement” and “The Lovely Bones,” Saoirse Ronan is looking to try her hand at lighter fare, as she’s set to play the female lead in Wes Anderson’s next movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

As Variety first reported, Ralph Fiennes will star in the period pic alongside Jude Law and Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, among others. While Anderson is fond of working with the same troupe of actors, he has actively recruited international thesps he’s never worked with before such as Fiennes, Law and now Irish thesp Ronan.

The director has said that the story, set 85 years ago in a Hungarian hotel, is partly inspired by the witty films of Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch (“The Shop Around the Corner”).

Anderson is producing the Euro-set pic with his “Moonrise Kingdom” collaborators Scott Rudin and Steven Rales of Indian Paintbrush. Production is skedded to start early next year in Germany.

Ronan, who was nominated for an Oscar at the age of 13 for her supporting perf in “Atonement,” will next be seen in Andrew Niccol’s adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel “The Host,” which Open Road Films will release March 29. Thesp is attached to star in Working Title’s drama “Mary Queen of Scots” and most recently wrapped Kevin Macdonald’s “How I Live Now,” while Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium” and Geoffrey Fletcher’s “Violet & Daisy” are awaiting release.

Ronan is repped by CAA and Macfarlane Chard.

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