Actress Nicole Kidman is to play a Danish artist who underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1930s, one of the first documented cases of transsexuality in a new film currently in pre-production.

Ms Kidman is also producing The Danish Girl.

It tells the story of Einar Wegener, who initially cross-dressed to pose for his wife, artist Gerda.

The portraits became popular in 1920s Copenhagen, and eventually eventually “came out” as transsexual and had surgery over a period of nearly two years.

The King of Denmark declared the Wegeners’ marriage null and void in October 1930.

Einar managed to get his sex and name legally changed, including a passport with her new name Lili Elbe, but died after complications from the fifth and final surgery in 1931.

Ms Kidman is also slated to play bisexual British icon in an upcoming biopic of Dusty Springfield. She will be seen in early January in Australia, a period epic co-starring Hugh Jackman.

It is set in Darwin during the Japanese bombing raid in February 1942 – the Pearl Harbor of Australia.

Charlize Theron has been cast as Gerda in The Danish Girl, which will be directed by Indian-German Anand Tucker, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

A vocal supporter of gay marriage, Ms Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of a lesbian serial killer in Monster.