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Blanchett to play Pretty digger

Cate Blanchett is in talks to star in The Dig: Photo © Blanchett to play Pretty digger Photo

Cate Blanchett is in talks to play archaeologist Edith Pretty in a film about the uncovering of the Sutton Hoo burial grounds.

Drama The Dig, adapted from John Preston's novel of the same name, tells the story of the uncovering of one of Britain's most famous archaeological finds in the late 1930s. The Sutton Hoo dig unearthed artefacts buried by the Anglo-Saxons in the early sixth and seventh centuries, included a 27-metre ship.

Cate - who recently scooped her second Oscar for her starring role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine - is in talks to play amateur archaeologist Pretty, who helped lead the excavation, according to Screen Daily.

The film is being compared to The Remains Of The Day for its overlapping themes of love, life and death.

In 1938, Pretty was still coming to terms with the death of her husband when she enlisted archaeologist Basil Brown to excavate the site. And with the shadow of the Second World War looming closer and closer, the story charts the uncovering of one civilisation by another, itself facing the threat of destruction.

Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier will direct from a script written by Tamara Drewe and Byzantium writer Moira Buffini.

Shooting is expected to begin towards the end of 2014.

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