Firth and Barnes in Dorian Gray
Now here’s an interesting casting story, Ben Barnes has been pinned to play the lead alongside Colin Firth in a film based on Oscar Wilde’s classic story The Picture of Dorian Gray.
The story, for those of you who don’t know Wilde or haven’t seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, follows Dorian Gray, a man who has his portrait painted, and while he advances in years he doesn’t age but the painting does.
It’s a great story, and Dorian Grey was one of the characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a film I still believe doesn’t deserve all the bad press it gets. Here's a full outline of the story from Wikipedia:
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is greatly impressed by Dorian's physical beauty and becomes strongly infatuated with him, believing that his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Talking in Basil's garden, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new kind of hedonism, Lord Henry suggests that the only thing worth pursuing in life is beauty, and the fulfilment of the senses. Realising that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian cries out, wishing that the portrait Basil has painted of him would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, subsequently plunging him into a series of debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin being displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.
Ben Barnes is playing Gray, whom you'll know is playing Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia films Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Colin Firth is to play Lord Henry Wotton, an aristocrat who corrupts Gray
Parker previously directed St. Trinian's, which perhaps isn't such a great advertisement for his talent, however he did also direct The Private Life of Samuel Pepys and The Importance of Being Earnest.