Seven Arts Entertainment Inc. today announced that subject to contract both Anjelica Huston and David Thewlis have accepted the roles of "Lady Astair" and "Count Zurov" in the picture The Winter Queen. They will join Milla Jovovich who has long been attached to star as "Lady Amalia".

Additional casting announcements will be made shortly with principal photography expected to commence this April.

Based on the internationally best selling novel by Boris Akunin and helmed by acclaimed Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk, The Winter Queen tells the story of intrepid young police detective Erast Fandorin and a mystery that begins with the suicides of several wealthy young men throughout 1886Russia and ends in an extensive plot for global domination.Fandorin's naïve wit and the suave yet volatile Count Zurov are his only protection from the ever more elaborate attempts on his life as he follows the conspiracy from Russia to England and back again; navigating unknown worlds with charm if not with ease. The enigmatic femme fatale Amalia seems to be somehow at the centre of it all, but can the saintly British aristocrat Lady Astair, founder of a string of orphanages which have greatly benefited from the wills of the affluent dead men, really be trusted?

Here's what Seven Arts Entertainment CEO Peter Hoffman had to say in a statement.

"Fedor and I are pleased to welcome Ms. Huston and Mr. Thewlis to our international cast of The Winter Queen which will start principal photography this spring. This production will be the first of two expected major productions this year."