Kristen Stewart may have become tabloid fodder in recent days, but the 22-year-old seems decidedly committed to being taken seriously as an actress: Vulture hears exclusively that Stewart has landed the lead role in an indie adaptation of William Styron’s 1951 novel, Lie Down In Darkness. Directed by Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper and set in genteel fifties Virginia, Lie Down will have Stewart play Peyton Loftis. As part of a dysfunctional and disintegrating family, Peyton is constantly compared to her crippled sister, Maudie, and her intense physical beauty makes her the object of her frigid mother’s jealous hatred and the target of her father’s incestuous, alcoholic lust. (Stewart will also appear in another fifties-era film, Walter Salles’s On the Road, when it’s released in the U.S. sometime this fall/winter.)
The part of Peyton had been coveted by Jennifer Lawrence, but Lawrence will spend the better part of the next year shooting sequels. (Catching Fire ignites this fall, while a new X-Men film at Fox commences shooting in January.) Set up at Open Road Films, Darkness has been in development for years by producer Jeff Sharp (You Can Count on Me, Proof) and while it’s unclear how soon it might start production, this is a major casting hurdle cleared.
UPDATE: from Washington Post
From Kristen’s agent, Ken Kaplan: “While it’s exciting to see all the interest the project is generating, the film is still in the pre-production process and no offers to cast have been made as of yet.”
Stewart’s agent, Ken Kaplan, echoed the sentiments in that statement via e-mail tonight.
“This movie is at a very early stage,” he wrote. “It is unfinanced and while Kristen is ‘attached’ to play the role, there is no guarantee that, if the movie gets made, she will actually do the role. All of the reporting on this is extremely premature.”