It was only a few months ago that the book Diana and the Paparazzi sparked a huge bidding war at Cannes, with Keira Knightley at the top of the casting buzz. Now we've got other Di-like Knightley news, which might ax the possibility of the actress taking on the role of the famous princess. What could save the possibility -- we're not talking about a 20th century story, but a film set in the 18th century.

According to Variety, Knightley has signed on to play Georgina, duchess of Devonshire in an upcoming co-production between Pathe and BBC Films called The Duchess. The movie will be helmed by Saul Dibb, which is a bit of a jump for the director, as his last and only other title is the ghetto/gangster movie, Bullet Boy. Penned by Casanova and Stage Beauty writer Jeffrey Hatcher, Duchess follows the controversial life of Georgina, who has been called the Princess Diana of her time. Georgina lived "an extravagant, profligate and promiscuous life of political and romantic intrigue, becoming an important powerbroker amid Blighty's ruling elite, but also running up catastrophic gambling debts."

People loved and hated the duchess, which is, I guess, where Di comes in. We all know that Knightley can't resist the period pieces, so the question is whether she'd want to venture closer to the present with the Paparazzi pic. The Duchess will begin shooting this October.