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Watch Cara Delevingne's big-screen debut in new Amanda Knox thriller

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A new trailer for a film based around the Meredith Kercher murder case shows Cara Delevingne make her big-screen debut.

The 22-year-old star swaps the catwalk for gritty realism in Michael Winterbottom-directed drama, The Face of an Angel.

 The psychological thriller is released in the UK later this month, and is based on a book about the notorious Italian trial written by CNN journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau.

It has already premiered at Toronto Film Festival last September, where it received a glowing reception. Critics praised the "rich, poetic" production and described Delevingne's debut performance as "striking".

The supermodel plays a British student called Melanie who works in a bar in Siena, Italy. She befriends a crew of filmmakers and journalists, including a character played by Kate Beckinsale and the film's protagonist, played by Daniel Brühl. 

Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsale at the Toronto premiere of The Face of an Angel

Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsale at the Toronto premiere of The Face of an Angel

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale in the film

Both Kercher and Amanda Knox were 21 years old and studying Italian in the picturesque town of Perugia when Kercher was found stabbed to death in the flat they shared on 2 November 2007.

Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of the murder alongside local drug dealer Rudy Guede, who is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence for the murder.

Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months and Sollecito received 25 years, but the pair, who had dated for just one week before the murder, were acquitted of the crime on appeal in 2011 after spending four years behind bars.

However in June last year, Italian judges reinstated a guilty verdict against them after an appeals court in Florence said the victim's wounds indicated multiple aggressors.

Meredith Kercher was found stabbed to death in the Perugia apartment she shared with Amanda Knox in 2007

Meredith Kercher was found stabbed to death in the Perugia apartment she shared with Amanda Knox in 2007

Throughout the trial and various court rulings, press attention has focused relentlessly on the personality, movements and motives of Knox, or "Foxy Knoxy" as she has been dubbed.

Director Winterbottom said he wanted The Face of an Angel to bring the focus of the case back to the victim.

"The Kercher family had talked a lot about that, with a huge amount of dignity, the reasons they went for the trial was to make sure that amongst the chaos, it was remembered that someone had lost their life," he said. "That was one of the central things I thought about."

The film is dedicated to the memory of Kercher and comes with the blessing of her family, including her brother Lyle who has watched it.

But Knox's lawyers have threatened to take legal action if the drama is "damaging to her image".

"If the film is based even loosely on the murder in Perugia and if it is damaging to Amanda’s image, we will be asking for damages, as we have done in other cases," Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga declared last year

Amanda Knox maintains her innocence in a Twitter post in February

Amanda Knox maintains her innocence in a Twitter post last year

Writer Nadeau insists the film version of her book does not "place the knife in Knox's hand".

In the appeal against Knox and Sollecito's acquittal last year, the judges said they believe the pair wielded knives, as Guede held Kercher down and committed a sexual assault. They claimed it was Knox who "delivered the only mortal blow" that night, striking Kercher with a kitchen knife.

Knox, 27, and Sollecito, 29 are now awaiting a judgement from Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation, which could uphold or overturn their guilty verdict.

Knox travelled back to the States after her conviction was overturned in 2011. If this verdict is upheld, the court will undergo a lengthy process to extradite her back to Italy to serve prison time.

Both parties have always maintained their innocence in the affair.

"There is nothing against me and nothing very strong against Amanda," Sollecito said, in a CNN interview last year. "And in my case, I really did nothing wrong, and I don't want to pay for someone else's peculiar behaviour."

Watch the trailer for The Face of an Angel, below. 

The Face of an Angel comes out in UK cinemas on 27 March

Words: Anna Brech

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