Keira Knightley will not be appearing in David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis”, the actress’s reps confirmed to us today. Knightley was brought into the casting conversation following some eagle-eyed fans seeing her name listed alongside star Robert Pattinson’s on the production company’s website. When the internet exploded with the news, her name was quickly removed and her reps declined to comment on her involvement until today, with a solid “she’s not in it”.
From the novel by Don DeLillo, the story centers around Pattinson’s young billionaire Eric Packer, following him as he journeys across New York to get a haircut. Most of the action takes place inside the limo that takes him from place to place, and involves him cheating on his wife, being pursued by shadowy assassins (one of whom will be played by Paul Giamatti) and losing his entire fortune in one day. Knightley’s role would have been that of Elise, Packer’s new wife, mysterious and ethereal, who seems to disappear into thin air in the blink of an eye, who Packer runs into periodically throughout his journey. Marion Cotillard was originally attached to play the role back when Colin Farrell had been tapped for Packer, but was confirmed to have left the project around the time Knightley’s name popped up.
Knightley is currently on the West End stage in a production of “The Children’s Hour”, in which she plays a 1930s schoolteacher who is accused of having a lesbian love affair with a fellow faculty member. She was last seen in the criminally underrated “Never Let Me Go” with Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield and will next be seen on screen in “A Dangerous Method”, another Cronenberg directorial feature.
As for “Cosmopolis”, with a projected start date in May, presumably the search is on for the next Mrs. Packer.