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Deal Report

The biggest upcoming projects in entertainment

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+ Pirates of the Caribbean star and perennial corset wearer Keira Knightley will play 18th-century British noblewoman Georgiana Spencer in The Duchess, adapted from the best-selling biography Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Despite the time period, ”it’s a very modern story,” says producer Gabrielle Tana. ”And Keira is a very modern girl, so it makes sense.”

+ Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd), Patrick Wilson (Evening), and Matthew Goode (The Lookout) have been cast in Watchmen, an adaptation of the popular graphic novel to be directed by Zack Snyder (300).

+ Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa on The Simpsons, is penning I, Lorelei: The Mud Letters for HarperCollins. The children’s novel, about a girl who documents her quest for stardom in letters to her dead cat, is set for a winter 2009 release. ”Between being Lisa Simpson and writing a novel, I feel like I am not a waste of food,” jokes Smith. ”I contributed.” — Additional reporting by Carrie Bell