Warner Bros. Pictures Germany will distribute Michael Hoffman's The Last Station which begins shooting from April 7 at locations in Brandenburg as a production of Egoli Tossell Halle, a production-specific outfit set up by Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film and the UK-based Zephyr Films run by Chris Curling.

The drama of Count Leo Tolstoy caught between the love of his life Sofya and a deceptive disciple Vladimir Chertkov trying to claim his life's work was adapted by Hoffman from Jay Parini's novel of the same name. Bonnie Arnold(Toy Story) is producing and she initially acquired the rights to Parini's novel.

Tolstoy has been cast with the veteran US actor Christopher Plummer, while Oscar-winner Helen Mirren will portray his wife Sofya and Paul Giamatti the rival Chertkov. James McAvoy will play Chertkov's young, but naive private secretary Valentin Bulgakov in a cast which also includes Anne-Marie Duff.

Principal photography will largely be in Saxony-Anhalt as well at locations in Brandenburg, Thuringia, Leipzig and the Tolstoy family estate in Russia.

Funding for the project has come from the Leipzig-based fund MDM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board (FFA), the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and a state-backed guarantee from the Land of Saxony-Anhalt.

Warner Bros., which will be opening another historical costume drama Buddenbrooks - Ein Geschaeft Von Einiger Groesse, based on Thomas Mann's novel, in Germany on December 25, plans to release The Last Station in German cinemas in spring 2009.

The Last Station is being handled internationally by The Little Film Company.