Actress Nicole Kidman is to play a transsexual artist in film The Danish Girl, it has been reported.

She will play Einar Wegener, a male artist who underwent groundbreaking surgery to become a woman in 1931, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The trade magazine said that Charlize Theron is expected to play Wegener’s spouse in the film, which will also be produced by Kidman.

It said pre-production had begun on the film but no release date had been set.

Model stand-in

The Hollywood Reporter said The Danish Girl will be based on the 2000 novel of the same name, by David Ebershoff, that tells a fictionalised tale of Einar and Greta Wegener.

It tells the story of how Wegener stood in for a female model that his wife was set to paint.

When the portraits became popular, Greta Wegener encouraged her husband to permanently adopt the female identity, leading to the operation that threatened their love and shocked the world.

Kidman, who gave birth to a baby daughter in July with husband Keith Urban, was last seen on the big screen in 2007 in The Golden Compass.

Her new film, Australia, opens in the UK on 26 December

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