Maria Valverde is ready for a high profile Romeo & Juliet-esque project…
The 27-year-old Spanish actress, who recently starred in Exodus: Gods And Kings, has signed on to star in the coveted role of Nino in epic love story Ali & Nino.
She’ll join the previously announced Adam Bakri (Omar) in director Asif Kapadia’s (Senna) big-screen adaptation of Kurban Said’s best-selling Azerbaijan-set novel about two star-crossed lovers.
The story begins in the melting pot of Baku at the turn of the 20th century. Ali is a Muslim, with his warrior ancestors’ passion for the desert; and Nino is a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways. The childhood sweethearts find their lives interrupted when WW1 breaks out and Baku’s oil becomes the focus of Russia’s vie for power. As the war plays out and control of the Caucuses changes hands, Ali and Nino find themselves swept up in Azerbaijan’s fight for independence.
Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) wrote the script.
Principal photography will commence in Azerbaijan and Turkey next month.
Valverde won a Goya Award for her film debut, La Flaqueza del Bolchevique.