WB’s ‘Troy’ finds Helen

Kruger to star with Pitt, Bana, Bloom in Petersen pic

After a months-long talent search, Warner Bros., Latina Pics. and Wolfgang Petersen have tapped Diane Kruger to play Helen, daughter of Zeus, in the last uncast role in “Troy,” the “Iliad” adaptation set to begin production April 22.

As Helen, the storied beauty whose face launched a thousand ships, Kruger rounds out a cast that also includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Julie Christie and Peter O’Toole. Petersen is helming and producing the pic with Diana Rathbun and Colin Wilson. David Benioff wrote the script.

Role marks a splashy coming out for Kruger, who stars opposite Josh Hartnett in an untitled MGM-Lakeshore Entertainment pic due later this year, but is not well known Stateside.

Role in ‘Idole’

But she appeared in last year’s Cesar-nominated French pic, “Mon Idole,” as well as the Dennis Hopper and Christopher Lambert indie feature, “The Piano Player,” and the forthcoming French pic, “Michel Vaillant.” Kruger, repped by CAA and Artists Independent Network, studied in London with the Royal Ballet and modeled in Germany before moving to Paris to become an actor.

“Diane is not only a stunning beauty but a gifted actress with tremendous emotional depth and presence,” Petersen said. “The role of Helen is charged with the grandeur of history and legend. I am confident that Diane has the charisma and artistry that this compelling character demands.”

Pic, which will be shot in England, Malta and Los Cabos, Mexico, is scheduled for release from Warner Bros. Distribution and Village Roadshow Pictures in May 2004.

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