EXCLUSIVE: Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright has set her cast for her anticipated one-off BBC drama To Walk Invisible about the Brontë family. Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) has been tapped to play family patriarch Rev. Patrick Brontë. Emily Brontë, who wrote Wuthering Heights, will be played by War & Peace’s Chloe Pirrie. Her sister Charlotte, who wrote the phenomenally successful Jane Eyre, will be played by Finn Atkins (Common) and Charlie Murphy (Happy Valley) will play youngest sister Anne, who wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Their brother Branwell, whose destructive behaviour threatens to tear the family apart, will be played by Adam Nagaitis (Banished).
Wainwright wrote and directs To Walk Invisible, which promises to take a new look at the extraordinary literary family, and in particular the women who overcame numerous obstacles to write some of the greatest novels in the English language.
“This is such an exciting and ambitious project,” said Sally Wainwright. “Something about the lives of these three brilliant, talented Yorkshire women seems to touch people at a very deep level.”
“I am such an admirer of Sally Wainwright that if she were filming the phone book I would want to be in it,” added Jonathan Pryce. “Her film will be a characteristically honest look at the whole Brontë family.”
To Walk Invisible is a BBC Cymru Wales production in association with Lookout Point and in partnership with the Open University. Wainwright will exec produce with Faith Penhale. Karen Lewis is the producer. Filming on the two hour drama begins on location in May.
Wainwright has become a much-sought filmmaker following the critical and ratings darling Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire as a strong-willed police sergeant in Yorkshire still coming to terms with the suicide of her daughter eight years earlier.
The Brontë sisters rank along the most famous of all literary families, with numerous film and TV adaptations of both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. In 2011, Cary Fukunaga directed a fantastic Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska while in the same year Andrea Arnold directed an adaptation of Wuthering Heights.