EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed William Oldroyd. He’s hot off directing Lady Macbeth and was pursued widely to break into Hollywood after the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was set for distribution with Roadside Attractions. Oldroyd continues with his UK reps Giles Smart and Natasha Galloway at United Artists.

Roadside is positioning Lady Macbeth as an awards contender, marked by a strong performance by Florence Pugh in a film that relocates Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 Russian novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk to 19th century England. The heroine pulls the strings in the drama of oppression, adultery and murder involving her loveless marriage to an older industrialist and the farmhand with whom she begins an affair. The film went from Toronto to London and then won the FIPRESCI Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Oldroyd comes from the stage, where he held residence at the Young Vic Theatre in London and has shepherded productions of Sartre in Tokyo, Beckett in Munich and Shakespeare in the UK.