Date: 16th March 2004

Ledger the new Casanova

Australian heart-throb Heath Ledger is set to seduce audiences by taking on the role of Casanova in a new incarnation of the story of world's greatest lover, the industry press said today.

Ledger, 24, has signed on to star in Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom's version of the consummate ladies man, a project the director has been nurturing for years, Daily Variety said.

Ledger, whose real-life romance is with Australian Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, will play the seducer who discovered the true meaning of love after meeting a woman who he cannot conquer with his legendary charm alone.

Shooting on the movie, to be made by Walt Disney Co. unit Touchstone Pictures, will begin in August in Venice, the industry press said.

Ledger's star has risen fast in Hollywood in recent years since he starred in 2001's medieval swashbuckler A Knight's Tale and Monster's Ball the following year, for which Halle Berry won the best actress Oscar.

Last year he starred in Ned Kelly, the story of the Australian bushranger (2003), and in 2002 he made the cooly received period drama, The Four Feathers.

The busy actor has just completed a role in Terry Gilliam's new film, The Brothers Grimm, and is set to star for Taiwan director Ang Lee in Brokeback Mountain as well as in the upcoming The Lords of Dogtown.

Source: Press Release