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James Norton and Lily James starring in War & Peace

James Norton, Happy Valley

Ugh! I feel like I need a shower; there are so many post-Oscar diatribes out there, from the lack of diversity to the lack of viewers (the lowest ratings in 6 years), from the lousy musical numbers to the  lousy speeches, apparently everything was NOT awesome. If you've got a gripe, you can find a wealth of people ranting online. I don't feel like bitching about Sean Penn, or defending Patricia Arquette's well-intended but ineloquently put words; the whole thing makes me want to curl up with a good book.

Which brings me to War and Peace. According to Deadline, principal photography is already underway on a six part adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy classic. James Norton stars as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky opposite Lily James as Natasha with Paul Dano as Paul Bezukhov in the love triangle.  You know Lily James from Downton and she's the upcoming Cinderella. But do you know James Norton?  Because in real life Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Being Flynn, Ruby Sparks, 12 Years a Slave) wouldn't stand a chance. Norton is the seriously handsome thirty year old British actor who is about to sweep the female film-watching world off its feet. He was a standout as a psycho killer in Happy Valley —available on Netflix—and played Henry Alveston in Death Comes to Pemberley. I guess I'll have to catch up on that next. Oh, and then there's Lady Chatterley's Lover, a television movie based on D.H. Lawrence's steamy novel. YAY! I have a legitimate excuse to follow James Norton's career without feeling like a dirty old lady. I must admit, he really brings out the Wife of Bath in me.

The War & Peace cast includes Jim Broadbent as Prince Nicolai Bolkonsky, Gillian Anderson,  Stephen Rea, Greta Scacchi, Jack Lowden, Tom Burke, Brian Cox, Ken Stott and Aisling Loftus. The adaptation of Tolstoy's classic was written by House Of Cards, Mr. Selfridge and Bridget Jones' screenwriter Andrew Davies who calls it “a thrilling, funny and heartbreaking story of love, war and family life".

The series is being directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, Woman in Black II); apparently they'll be shooting on location in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania.

We won't be seeing it until next year which should give us all plenty of time to catch up on Tolstoy's 1200 page masterpiece. Right? Right!

Or, lazybones, you could just watch one of the previous adaptations. Here's the funky 1950's trailer for the 1956 classic starring Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer.