Keira Knightley is in talks to play Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in upcoming period piece The Beautiful and the Damned.

Adapted by Hanna Weg, with The Notebook's Nick Cassavetes to direct, the film tells of the tempestuous love of Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald, icons of the Jazz Age.

The Film Department project would continue the Pirates Of The Caribbean actress' predilection for period movies, having starred in Atonement, Pride And Prejudice, Silk and The Duchess.

While Scott's novel The Beautiful and the Damned was ostensibly about the Rocky relationship between socialite Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria, it is widely seen as a fictionalised account of Scott and Zelda's marriage, with the first edition dust jacket depicting characters resembling the pair.

Zelda and Scott's youth, beauty and talent saw them lauded as embodiments of both the Roaring Twenties and, after their relocation to Europe, the Lost Generation.

Though the pair were the most famous couple of their day, their marriage was marred by jealousy and resentment, much of it fuelled by Scott's use of their relationship and Zelda's diaries as material for his novels.

Having been diagnosed as a schizophrenic after her alcoholism spiralled, Zelda was admitted to a Maryland mental institution where she penned the semi-autobiographical Save Me the Waltz.

23/09/2008 09:30:13