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Anderson finds ‘Mirth’ in Davies-directed drama

Thesp to star in Wharton adaptation

CANNES — Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) is set to star in an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s turn-of-the-century novel “The House of Mirth,” to be directed by Terence Davies.

London-based Capitol Film is handling international sales, with Granada Film also partnering on the production.

The film has been greenlit to shoot this summer in Scotland and the south of France. Davies (“Distant Voices, Still Lives,” “The Long Day Closes,” “The Neon Bible”) is penning the screenplay.

The supporting cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Eric Stoltz, Laura Linney, Anthony LaPaglia and Jodhi May.

Olivia Stewart of Three Rivers is producing.

Anderson will play Lily Bart, a beautiful socialite in late 19th century New York whose world starts to crumble when she finds herself torn between her need to find a wealthy husband to secure her shaky social position and her desire to follow the course of true love.

“The glittering facade of New York society at the turn of the century only thinly veils a compassionless world of savage humor and cruelty,” Davies said. “Lily is an unsuspecting and almost Hitchcockian heroine so caught up in a society of hypocrisy and concealment that she does not see the danger she is in until it is too late.”

Davies will work with cinematographer Remi Adefarasin (“Elizabeth”) and production designer Don Taylor (“Little Voice”).

This project is not the “House of Mirth” adaptation previously announced on the development slate of Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Prods., with John Schlesinger to direct.