Olivier Award-winning British actor Jack Lowden, who recently appeared in BBC epic War And Peace, has been tapped to play enigmatic Smiths frontman Morrissey in Honlodge Productions’ biopic Steven. Lowden will star as the iconic indie rock singer and lyricist, who was born Steven Patrick Morrissey, in the drama to be directed by first-time feature helmer Mark Gill. Gill co-wrote the script with William Thacker, his collaborator on the 2014 Oscar-nominated short The Voorman Problem.
HanWay has boarded sales on the project which starts principle photography in April. Entertainment One has taken UK rights.
Now known only as Morrissey (and sometimes dubbed the “Pope of Mope”), the Manchester native founded The Smiths with Johnny Marr in 1982. Steven will chart Morrissey’s years immediately before the formation of the band, and shine a light on how an awkward teenager escaped a dead-end existence to build a legendary songwriting partnership with Marr. The Smiths sold millions of records worldwide with such seminal singles as “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” “Girlfriend In A Coma,” “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” “Reel Around The Fountain,” “This Charming Man” and “William, It Was Really Nothing.” The group broke up in 1987 and Morrissey went on to a successful solo career.
Orian Williams (Control) and Gill’s Voorman Problem partner Baldwin Li are producing. Williams says the script “looks inside the young mind of Steven Patrick Morrissey and captures a glimpse of what he observed and channeled in order to give us the future music of his thoughts, not only with The Smiths but his solo work as well.”
Lowden, who won an Olivier Award for 2013’s Ghosts, broke into features with Yann Demange’s ’71 and is currently in talks for a major role in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action adventure Dunkirk. His upcoming films include Denial, with Rachel Weisz; Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom; and Tommy’s Honour with Peter Mullan. He recently played Nikolai Rostov in The Weinstein Co’s War And Peace.
He is repped by Conway van Gelder Grant and UTA.