EXCLUSIVE: Summer shoot for Whit Stillman adaptation to star Sienna Miller and Chloe Sevigny; director hails “author’s most sparkling comedy”.

Sienna Miller has landed the lead in Whit Stillman’s upcoming Jane Austen adaptation, which UK sales outfit Protagonist has added to its EFM slate.

Chloe Sevigny, best known for roles in Zodiac and Boys Don’t Cry, has also been cast as a close friend of Miller’s character in the period comedy, titled Jane Austen’s Love & Friendship.

Stillman is gearing up for a summer shoot in Ireland on his adaptation of the story by Emma and Pride and Prejudice writer Austen.

Miller, nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Hitchcock TV biopic The Girl, will play the lead in the comedy, which is produced by Katie Holly of Dublin-based Blinder Films (Citadel) and Stillman’s outfit Westerly Films. It is backed by the Irish Film Board.

In classic Austen style, the story follows the beautiful and scheming Lady Susan (Miller) as she attempts to find a husband for herself and her long-suffering daughter Federica.

Additional casting is underway.

Miller has recently scored a series of high-profile films in production, including comedy Business Trip with Vince Vaughan, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Ana Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Mississippi Grind with Ryan Reynolds.

Oscar-nominated Sillman is best-known for his comedies of manners Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days Of Disco. His last film Damsels In Distress, starring Greta Gerwig, closed the Venice Film Festival in 2011.

Stillman told Screen: “The other two early novels Jane Austen wrote became Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility ­ the story of the brilliant Lady Susan Vernon’s struggles with the wealthy, smug De Courcy clan is perhaps her most sparkling comedy. 

“In our search for the right Susan Sienna Miller showed how the role might be infused with freshness and verve. She is a wonderful talent who will lead a brilliant ensemble cast.”

“Whit’s delicious screenplay revolving around the fantastically selfish Lady Susan is filled with the pleasurable comedy and pithy social insights for which both Stillman and Austen are renowned,” said Protagonist CEO Mike Goodridge.