Julia Stiles is to playRobert Burns' muse in Burns,ContentFilm International's story of the legendary Scottish poet.

The US actress, whosecredits include The Bourne Supremacy and Mona Lisa Smile, willplay Jean Armour, the woman that the roistering 18th century bardeventually married.

The cast includes GerardButler as Burns and Brian Cox, John Hannah, James McAvoy, James Cosmo, DavidO'Hara and David Hayman. Director Vadim Jean will start shooting from a scriptby Alan Sharp in Scotland in spring 2005, with ContentFilm representingworldwide rights.

Jean said that Stiles "hasthe grace, passion and style to carry off the difficult role of Jean Armour,the one woman who captured the heart of Burns. It is heartening that an actressof Julia's stature rang us within 24 hours of getting the script to accept therole."

Andrew Boswell and JolyonSymonds are producing for The Mob Film Company, which is part of the GruberFilms consortium which recently applied for the UK Film Council's DevelopmentSlate Funding scheme.