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Kirsten Dunst to Replace Elisabeth Moss in Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Power of the Dog’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kirsten Dunst is in final negotiations to join Benedict Cumberbatch in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.”

Dunst is replacing Elisabeth Moss, who was forced to drop out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts with her Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Netflix acquired the pic this summer from See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm, Cross City Films. Variety first reported on the project in May and Cross City Films launched sales at the Cannes Film Festival.

Netflix will release the movie in 2021 on the streaming platform and in theaters. Transmission Films will be releasing it theatrically in Australia and New Zealand. The deal excludes United Kingdom TV rights, which are retained by BBC Films.

Campion directed the movie, adapted from the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name. It follows two wealthy brothers who are polar opposites. Paul Dano portrays a man who is fastidious and gentle, while his brother, played by Cumberbatch, is brilliant and cruel. They are joint owners of the biggest ranch in the Montana valley. When Dano’s character secretly marries a local widow (Dunst), Cumberbatch wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her by using her son as a pawnpo.

See-Saw Films and Big Shell Films/Max Films Production are producing the movie in association with Brightstar and BBC Films. The project has been developed with BBC Films, which is also backing production. See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning are also producing alongside Max Films’ Roger Frappier, Big Shell’s Campion and Brightstar’s Tanya Seghatchian. BBC Films’ Rose Garnett, See-Saw’s Simon Gillis and Brightstar’s John Woodward are executive producing.

Dunst is coming off rave reviews for her new Showtime series “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” which was recently renewed for a second season. She is repped by UTA and Management 360.

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