"Need For Speed" actress Imogen Poots will star in Cross Creek Pictures and Smuggler Films' "Beautiful Ruins" with Todd Field set to direct. Filming is set to start in May in Italy.

Based on the Jess Walter novel that became a bestseller after its publication in April, the story follows an American ingenue who travels to Italy in 1962 during the production of "Cleopatra," with a parallel story set in present-day Hollywood. Poots will star as the young actress Dee Moray.

Field, who directed "Little Children" and "In the Bedroom," is writing the script with Walter. Field, Brian Oliver, Brian Carmody, Patrick Milling Smith and Tyler Thompson are producing. Adam Kassan will oversee production for Cross Creek.

After breaking onto the scene in the horror pic "28 Weeks Later," Poots has become one of Hollywood's hot young actresses. In the next year she has films set to bow that include Focus' "The Awkward Moment" with Zac Efron, "Need For Speed," "A Long Way Down" and "All Is By My Side."

She recently completed lensing "Squirrels To The Nuts." She is repped by CAA and Independent in the U.K.

CAA, which packaged the film, will represent its domestic distribution rights.

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