Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 10:12 UK

Mirren 'to star in Tempest film'

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren won an Oscar for The Queen in 2007

Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren has signed up to star in a big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, according to reports.

Film trade magazine Hollywood Reporter said director Julie Taymor had changed the gender of main character Prospero so Mirren could take the role.

Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou and Russell Brand are also due to appear in the film, it added.

Shooting is likely to start in Hawaii in November.

Shipwrecked crew

Alfred Molina, Ben Whishaw and Felicity Jones have also taken parts in the movie and Geoffrey Rush is in negotiations to join the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Shakespeare's castaway play mixes romance with fraternal politics and the supernatural.

The movie version will centre around Prospera, her daughter Miranda (Jones) and a shipwrecked crew full of Prospera's enemies.

The cast includes several Oscar-winning stars, including Mirren who collected her Academy Award for The Queen in 2007.

Irons took home the best actor trophy for Reversal of Fortune and Rush got the nod for Shine.

Hounsou won best supporting actor nominations for Blood Diamond and In America.

It is the second time Taymor has adapted a Shakespeare play for the big screen, after turning Titus Andronicus into the 1999 film Titus, with Anthony Hopkins in the lead role.

She previously directed a minimalist stage production of The Tempest, which was filmed for public television in the US.

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