- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MOSCOW (AP) - French actor Gerard Depardieu will reportedly play a part in the film based on a script written by the daughter of Uzbekistan’s authoritarian President Islam Karimov.

Gulnara Karimova has frequently been touted as a potential successor to her iron-fisted father who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation for 23 years. Karimova is feted back home as a diplomat, philanthropist, singer and fashion designer, but her critics say she has used her power to forcibly take over businesses across the Central Asian nation.

Uzbek filmmaker Akbar Khakimov told Olam.uz news agency Wednesday that Depardieu will play a Christian monk in the film set in Central Asia around sixth century.

Last year, New York’s Fashion Week canceled a show by Karimova under pressure from human rights groups that criticized child labor in the Uzbek cotton industry.

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