EXCLUSIVE: MGM is negotiating with Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin to star in the Thea Sharrock-directed Me Before You, the adaptation of the Jojo Moyes best-selling novel. Karen Rosenfelt is producing Sharrock’s feature debut. MGM is partnered with New Line and Warner Bros, which has dated the movie for August, 2015 release.
Clarke, whose breakout came playing the mother of dragons Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game Of Thrones, is playing Sarah Conner in Terminator: Genisys, and she is also going to star with Nicholas Hoult in Go Down Together, the Michael Suscy-directed revisionist take on Depression Era outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Though a newcomer, Claflin’s track record is pretty remarkable: the final three The Hunger Games films, Snow White and The Huntsman and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
There was a lot of competition between young actors for this male lead, and he beat out a lot of actors to get it.
Me Before You tells the story of Lou, a small-town girl caught between dead-end jobs, and Will, a success all his life who finds himself wheelchair-bound after an accident. He finds no reason to live until they meet when he hires her as his caretaker for six months, and she becomes determined to prove to him life is worth living. They head for a series of adventures together, which changes each of them. The author wrote the first draft of the script, and (500) Years Of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber did the most recent draft.
Sharrock is an acclaimed director of TV and stage. The TV credits include Sam Mendes’ BBC miniseries The Hollow Crown with Tom Hiddleston and the BBC series Call The Midwife, and the stage work includes Daniel Radcliffe’s 2008 Broadway debut Equus, The Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito, the revival of The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley and Damien Lewis, and the Olivier Award-winning revival After The Dance. She’ll next direct Kevin Spacey as Clarence Darrow in the Old Vic production of Darrow. At 21, she became the youngest artistic director in the UK at London’s Southwark Playhouse.
Clarke and Claflin are repped by CAA, and Clarkes also by Emptage Hallett and Claflin by Independent Talent Group.