It’s rare that one has cause to get this excited for a bourgeois costume drama, but considering Joe Wright is one of the sharpest, visually innovative filmmakers we have working today anything he targets is worthy of interest. But the Hanna director — who has serious period piece chops from Atonement and Pride & Prejudice — is not just tackling any old romance story- no, Wright is adapting Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. That’s not one that shows up on many high school reading lists, but it has been called the greatest novel ever written by many literary groups and dudes like, say, Faulkner.

Indiewire provides us the first stills from the production, which looks as opulent as you might expect. The film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaaron Johnson.

What the stills don’t convey is that Wright is apparently taking an unusual approach to the universe of this film.

Wright made the audacious decision to shoot the film nearly entirely on a single stage, in a take that has been described as being set in an “elastic universe” that will include toy trains and dollhouses standing in for exterior locations.

Sounds like this will be a nice follow up to Wright’s Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. I’d have no problem at all if Wright continued to dive back into the high-quality romantic dramas as long as he doesn’t forget to periodically put out something as great and modern as last year’s Hanna.

Are there other chewers as excited for this as I now am?

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