Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren are replacing Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep respectively in Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station” for Egoli Tossel Film & Zephyr Films reports Variety.
The film, based on Jay Parini’s 1990 novel, explores the turbulent final year in the life of the Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy along with his troubled marriage. Hopkins and Streep were previously attached to the roles of Tolstoy and his wife.
Paul Giamatti remains set to play Tolstoy’s trusted follower Chertkov, a supporter of the writer’s nonviolent socialist Christian movement who becomes Sofia’s cunning adversary.
James McAvoy plays a naive private secretary sent by Chertkov to work for Tolstoy. McAvoy’s real life wife, Anne-Marie Duff, stars as Tolstoy’s daughter Sasha.
Shooting on the $20 million project begins next Monday in Germany before moving onto historical locations in Russia. A 2009 release is planned.