EXCLUSIVE: Scottish actor Martin Compston is set to star in Working Title and Focus Features’ Mary Queen Of Scots. Compston will play the Earl of Bothwell, the third husband to the eponymous royal played by Saoirse Ronan. Margot Robbie plays the role of Mary’s cousin Queen Elizabeth I while Jack Lowden is set as Lord Darnley.
Stage director Josie Rourke is directing the title, which is written by House Of Cards creator Beau Willimon and based on the 2004 biography by John Guy, The True Life Of Mary Stuart. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward are producing. Pic is expected to begin shooting this summer.
Crowned the queen of Scotland before she was a year old, Mary added to that pedigree when her first husband became France’s king and she became queen consort in 1559. Despite that auspicious start, things didn’t go well from there. She later married her first cousin, Lord Darnley, a bad match that ended with his murder.
When she quickly married Bothwell, who was suspected of orchestrating the killing, an uprising against the couple resulted in her being imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Forced to abdicate her throne to her year-old son, she failed in an attempt to wrest back the throne and fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Mary had once claimed to be the rightful Queen of England, a view embraced by Catholics. Perceived as a threat by her cousin, she was confined and ultimately executed for complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth.
Compston’s career is on a roll having recently starred in BBC’s hit BAFTA-nominated series Line Of Duty as well as Peter Manuel’s ITV miniseries In Plain Sight. He’s recently wrapped The Aftermath with Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgard.
Compston first broke onto the scene when he starred in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen, for which he won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor as well as a BIFA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. His further credits include: Andrea Arnold’s Red Road; J. Blakeson’s The Disappearance Of Alice Creed with Gemma Arterton; Tom Hooper’s The Damned United; Soulboy with Felicity Jones; and Dito Montiel’s A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints with Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey Jr.
He is repped by Anonymous Content and Hamilton Hodell.