French actress circling lead in period drama.

Variety is reporting that Marion Cotillard (‘Rust and Bone,’ ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) is in negotiations to lead ‘Diary of a Chambermaid’ for French director Benoit Jacquot (‘Farewell My Queen,’ ‘Sade’).

Based on Octave Mirbeau’s classic novel, ‘Le Journal d’une femme de chamber,’ the drama follows Celestine, a young and ambitious woman whose job as a chambermaid gives her an insight into the perversions within France’s upper-class society at the turn of the 20th century.

Jacquot’s adaptation will mark the third time Mirbeau’s novel has been brought to the big screen. Jean Renoir directed a Hollywood-set adaptation in 1946; and in 1964, Luis Bunuel directed a French-Italian take.