EXCLUSIVE: The Affair star Ruth Wilson is in advanced negotiations to join Clio Barnard’s feature Dark River. The actress, who won the Golden Globe for her bravura work on Showtime infidelity melodrama The Affair, will play the female lead. The producers are casting the male lead role.

Wilson’s career has been on the ascendancy ever since her delicious turn as sociopath Alice Morgan opposite Idris Elba on the TV drama Luther. Since then, she has had roles in Saul Dibb’s Suite Francaise and Saving Mr Banks opposite Tom Hanks, and her voice appeared in Locke as Tom Hardy’s wife. That film memorably all took place in one car as we follow Hardy’s character on a life-changing evening. Wilson has Osgood Perkins’ I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House and John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties opposite Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning.

Wilson is repped by Troika and CAA.

Barnard has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive cinematic voices following rave reviews and awards for her feature-length debut The Arbor, a documentary about the late Bradford poet Andrea Dunbar, as well as her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant. The latter film followed two scrappy 13-year-old working-class friends in Bradford seeking fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. The film was a critical darling on its release, winning the best British film of the year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards and a number of other festival awards. Sundance Selects released it domestically.

Film4 developed Dark River with Left Bank Pictures producing. Protagonist Pictures is handing sales. Longtime Barnard collaborator Tracy O’Riordan is producing through her Moonspun Films. Barnard writes and directs. Exec producers for Left Bank are Lila Rawlings, Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries. The film is backed by Film4, the British Film Institute, Screen Yorkshire and The Welcome Trust.