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  M.   July 16, 2009

Stephen Frears, the award-winning director, has got Gemma Arterton in his sights to play the title character of his next film Tamara Drewe, about a woman who raises the temperature when she arrives at a writers’ retreat in a quiet country village.

The story is based on a Posy Simmonds newspaper comic strip that was published as a graphic novel two years ago.

Frears, who directed The Queen (which won an Oscar for Helen Mirren), has told his producers he wants Gemma to play Tamara, a newspaper columnist who just happens to be a knock-out beauty.

When she arrives at the fictional village, she garners the attention of lusty men – and the ire of their womenfolk.

Simmonds based her tale on Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, with Hardy’s heroine Bathsheba becoming Tamara, a writer with a recent nose job.

Simmonds’s piece has been adapted into a screenplay that represents eccentric British comedy at its best.

Frears is sold on doing the film this autumn with Gemma. I understand no offers or deals have been made so far, but there have been ‘many conversations’.

A reading of the screenplay was held recently without Gemma, but with Tamsin Greig and Roger Allam as leading characters. There are talks about the possibility of their being in the film, too.

Frears, who has a way of drawing out brilliant performances from his casts, had been planning to do an epic picture set in Hawaii, but decided instead that he fancied flirting with Tamara Drewe.

If all the complex negotiations can be sorted out, shooting should begin in September or October.

Meanwhile, Gemma was on set this week filming the St Trinian’s sequel.

Source: Daily Mail