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James D'Arcy cast in Madonna's 'W.E.'

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James D'Arcy

© Rex Features

Madonna has recruited British actor James D'Arcy to star in her next directorial venture W.E., says Variety.

D'Arcy, whose credits include Revelation, Master And Commander and Flashbacks Of A Fool, will play King Edward VIII in the drama. Andrea Riseborough, Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac are also confirmed for the cast.

The movie features two love stories: in the present Cornish's Wally romances a Russian security guard who works at Sotheby's, while in the past the king abdicates the throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Madonna recently told Interview of the project: "The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are in the movie, but it's not going to be about them. It's really about this other woman's journey, and the Duchess is kind of her spiritual guide.

"It's set mostly in pre-World War II England-like, 1936 to 1937-and then in New York in 1998. It goes back and forth in time. I use the Sotheby's auction in 1998 of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's estate as a device to flash backward from."

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