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Andrea Arnold on 'huge responsibility' of Bronte film

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank took the jury prize at Cannes in 2009

Andrea Arnold, the Oscar-winning director of Fish Tank, has spoken of the "huge responsibility" that comes with her new project Wuthering Heights.

It was announced last month that Arnold would be taking on Olivia Hetreed's adaptation of the Emily Bronte novel.

Arnold won a Bafta for her 2006 debut Red Road and an Oscar in 2004 for her short film Wasp.

"Wuthering Heights is something close to my heart," Arnold said at the London Evening Standard Film Awards this week.

"I think it's close to a lot of people's hearts which makes it a huge responsibility. It may not be to everyone's taste but that's okay."

It is the first time Arnold will direct a film that she has not written. She took over the project from Peter Webber, director of Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Arnold told the BBC: "It dropped out of the sky before Christmas for me, and I never thought I would ever take on an adaptation of a book of any kind or even someone else's script."

Class story

Scene from Fish Tank
Fish Tank featured newcomer Katie Jarvis alongside Michael Fassbender

Arnold said Wuthering Heights had a lot in common with her gritty Essex drama Fish Tank, which took the jury prize at Cannes in 2009, and won best film at the Evening Standard film awards.

"Think about Heathcliff, he's an outsider, he's a Gypsy boy. It's a big class story. All my films have been about class, and Wuthering Heights is more of the same," she said.

"We are in pre-production, running up and down to Yorkshire and meeting people. It's forming itself."

Asked about casting, Arnold said: "I've got a picture of someone on my phone, but I'm not going to show you!"

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