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Apr 2010
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Rosamund Pike is to star in a new version of the wildly erotic classic Women In Love, playing the same part that won Glenda Jackson her first Oscar 40 years ago.
In its day, Ken Russell’s 1969 interpretation of D.H Lawrence’s novel about sexual nature and grim industrial reality pushed the boundaries of sexual acts and nudity on screen.
Shooting on the new film, for BBC4, will begin in mid-April on locations in South Africa, standing in for a Midlands mining town. (Russell shot his movie in Derbyshire.)

Bill Ivory, a writer known for his work on television’s Common As Muck series, has combined Lawrence’s Women in Love with what could crassly be termed its prequel, The Rainbow, for his screenplay.

The aim is to explore sexual relationships between men and women, and how World War I hurled a rural community into the harshness of 20th-century industrial reality.
The root of the project is sexual relations and animal passions involving two sisters – sculptress Gudrun Brangwen (the part Rosamund will play) and her sister Ursula, a timid teacher – and two men from opposite sides of the social divide, Rupert Birkin and Gerald Crich.

In Ken Russell’s famous movie, Jackson played Gudrun, Jennie Linden her sibling, with Alan Bates and Oliver Reed as Birkin and Crich respectively.
The full-frontal, candlelit wrestling match between Bates and Reed has become the stuff of screen legend.
So, too, has a sensual scene where another character, Hermione (played by Eleanor Bron), begins to eat a fig, prompting Birkin to launch into an erotic discourse on the proper way to eat a rosy, moist fig.
The speech isn’t in the novel, but Larry kramer, the film’s screen- writer, borrowed the fruitful moment from a d.H. Lawrence poem, The Fig. It’s not yet known whether Ivory will still include it in his new adaptation.
The part of Gudrun is a scorching role for Rosamund who, in the past few years, has become an actress of great stature.

She has gone after challenging roles, including her spot-on depiction of a daffy sixties swinger in the Oscar-nominated film An Education and her City trader in Dominic Savage’s BBC drama Freefall. she has come a long way since her ice-cool Bond girl Miranda Frost in die another day nine years ago.

Other roles for Women in Love are still being cast.

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