EXCLUSIVE: Sean Bean and Mark Stanley are in talks to join Clio Barnard’s Dark River opposite Ruth Wilson. The film is Barnard’s anticipated next feature after The Selfish Giant. It marks a welcome return for Bean to indie Brit filmmaking after a number high-profile roles in big-budget and fantasy-inflected fare such as Game Of Thrones, Jupiter Ascending and The Martian. Stanley has some impressive credits on his filmography, too, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens alongside well-received turns in TV projects such as Dickensian. His breakthrough role came in Paul Katis’ Kilo Two Bravo aka Kajaki. Protagonist Pictures will be shopping the project at Cannes.
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 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. 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.
Bean is repped by Independent Talent Group and CAA. Stanley is repped by Tavistock Wood and WME.
Deadline broke the news that last week that Amazon was nearing a deal to board Left Bank’s event TV series Strange New Things with Matt Charman writing and Kevin Macdonald directing.