Variety reports that Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren have now signed on to star. Anthony is great and all, but he's no Plummer. Based on Jay Parini's novel from 1990, the film will follow the final year of the famous writer's life -- when his wife's extravagant demands clash with his "philosophy of poverty," and he flees to the house of a station-master for some peace as he dies.
Giamatti's Chertkov, meanwhile, is a supporter of Tolstoy's "nonviolent socialist Christian movement who becomes Sofia's cunning adversary," and James McAvoy will play "a naive private secretary sent by Cherkov to work for Tolstory." Rounding out the cast is McAvoy's own wife, Anne-Marie Duff, who will play Tolstoy's daughter, Sasha.
Production begins in Germany next week, shooting in Saxony-Anhalt, Bradenburg, Thuringia, Leipzig, and some historical locations in Russia. Warner Brothers will release the film in Germany early next year, but there's no word about a North American release.