It's been a busy week for Emma Watson. Not only did she turn 18 (a landmark which caused no small amount of cheering among the guys I know -- you pervs!), and not only did she inherit her Harry Potter fortune, but now she's landed her first real non-Potter role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she is going to star in Napoleon and Betsy, a historical romance written and directed by Benjamin Ross. It is set to begin shooting in the fall to work around the scheduled 2009 start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Watson will play Betsy, a young and headstrong noblewoman who is trapped on the island of St. Helena. There, she meets and falls in love with the exiled Napoleon. It's based loosely on a true story -- the real Betsy was all of thirteen, and wrote a book recalling how Napoleon enjoyed playing childish games with her and her siblings. Not quite Harlequin material. I can't help but think that a movie about a playful Napoleon might be more interesting than a bodice ripper. (Possibly, bodices will not be ripped.) The role originally belonged to Scarlett Johannson, who gave it up when the film headed in a younger direction. She is still set to produce the film.

As Napoleon was 46-years-old when exiled to St. Helena, they must really be aiming for the "creepy" level. Perhaps Hollywood will re-imagine him as a handsome twenty-something. I'm envisioning James McAvoy, at least for Watson's sake.

categories Movies, Cinematical