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Rosamund Pike Set for Working Title, Studiocanal Marie Curie Story ‘Radioactive’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/16/2017 John Hopewell
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CANNES — Sought-after Oscar-nominated actress Rosamund Pike is attached to star as Marie Curie in “Radioactive,” a Working Title production directed by France’s Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”) fully-financed by Studiocanal and which will bring a human dimension to the scientist, which suggesting the extraordinary lasting impact of her scientific work.

“Radioactive” is adapted by one of the U.K.’s hottest young writers, Jack Thorne, from “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout,” Lauren Redniss’ lustrous graphic biography of Marie and Pierre Curie. Mixing dream-like saturated color drawings and short texts, the book captures the Curies’ “fairy-tale” life story, as Redniss writes, their love, recorded perspicaciously by Curie, the heroic labor of their scientific discovery of radioactivity, and the long shadow that would cast over their lives – and the modern world.

“This is not a bio-pic, but a love story, set at a tremendous time of change, capturing a woman who is amazing, brilliant and quite charming, and the only woman of the time capable of being accepted by the scientific establishment,” Didier Lupfer, Studiocanal chairman-CEO, said of the film “Radioactive.”

“Marie Curie was such a natural force of life. everybody, everywhere she went was effected by her energy and brilliance,” said Satrapi.

She added: “This is an intense role which require a lot of intelligence and sensibility. Rosamund is ‘the one’ to incarnate her. I understood it the second I met her.”

“Rosamund speaks about the subject and character in such an intelligent way and is fascinated by the character and time,” added Ron Halpern, Studiocanal EVP, intl. production and acquisitions.

“For this role, we needed a strong woman like Rosamund who could convey the intelligence, determination and courage of Marie Curie. With Marjane they make a powerful duo of women,” he added. “

“Radioactive’s” other two key roles – Pierre Curie, and Paul Langevin, the younger lover Marie Curie took some years after Pierre’s death – are out to cast.

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster produce.

Set at the threshold of the modern age, which the Curies helped usher in, “Radioactive” is a live action movie. The oneiric colors of the graphic bio, Satrapi’s own background as a flamboyant animated feature director on “Persepolis,” and Marie Curie’s own sense of color and light in describing her discoveries, all suggest that that visuals will play a key and distinctive role in the film.

Movie jumps forward and back in time: There are still people cured by Curie techniques today.

Pike was Oscar-nominated for “Gone Girl” and most recently completed “Hostiles,” opposite Christian Bale and Ben Foster, “Entebbe” directed by Jose Padilha, and Brad Anderson’s “High Wire Act,” opposite Jon Hamm. With a strong line in roles depicting string women, Pike has just been cast as U.S. war reporter Marie Colvin in the Matthew Heineman-directed “A Private War” and is currently appearing in Cedric Jimenez’s “The Man with the Iron Heart,” where she plays  Lina Heydrich, wife of Reinhard Heydrich , the mastermind of the “Final Solution.”

Pike is repped by Magnolia’s Shelley Browning, CAA and Dallas Smith at United Agents.

A wide-ranging talent, Thorne wrote Julia Robert’s “Wonder,” the Tom Harper-directed “Aeronauts” and hit stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

After “Persepolis,” which won a Cannes Special Jury Prize, Satrapi went on to direct “Chicken With Plums” and “The Voices.”

Redniss’ book was a 2011 National Book Award finalist, the first non-fiction graphic narrative to achieve that recognition.

Sartrapi is repped by UTA, Thorne by WME.

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