The casting department for Wuthering Heights can finally breathe a sigh of relief and put the kettle on, with Gemma Arterton and Gossip Girls Ed Westwick signing on to play tempestuous Yorkshire-based couple Cathy and Heathcliff in Ecosse Films' adaptation of Emily Bronte's romantic classic.
Selecting the leads to play the stormy couple has been a fittingly overwrought process: Natalie Portman and Abbie Cornish were signed on for the role of the headstrong Cath at one point or other before exiting the project, and Michael Fassbender was also attached to play Cath's fiery lover Heathcliff before departing. Director John Maybury also left before being replaced by Peter Webber (Girl With A Pearl Earring).
Arterton is 23 and Westwick 21 so, unlike previous cinematic adaptations, this Wuthering Heights will have a very Gen Y feel. "We've cast it as written," says producer Robert Bernstein. "Heathcliff's a teen and the story takes him into his early 20s. Cathy is just as young. It's radical because usually actors playing these characters are much older."
What do you think? Can the youthful Arterton/Westwick pairing summon the blazing passion and chemistry to match Olivier and Oberon, or Cliff Richard and Helen Hobson for that matter?