German-Romanian actress Maria Dragus has secured the role of Scottish noblewoman Mary Fleming, childhood companion of Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), in the Josie Rourke-directed period drama Mary Queen of Scots. She joins Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I along with Joe Alwyn, Martin Compston and Jack Lowden in the film from Working Title and Focus Features.
Written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, based on John Guy’s 2004 biography The True Life of Mary Stuart, the pic follows Mary Stuart, who was forced to abdicate her throne after a controversial marriage and fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward are producing with filming said to begin this summer.
The role marks Dragus’ first English-language film. She most recently co-starred in the 2016 Cannes selection Graduation and in Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. She’s repped by Echo Lake Entertainment.
Ned Van Zandt, whose credits include NBC’s The Blacklist and HBO’s All the Way, has joined director Ty Roberts’ period drama The Iron Orchard. The film, which is in production in West Texas, is based on the novel by Van Zandt’s late father Tom Pendleton. Adapted by Gerry de Leon, the story follows Jim McNeely, a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields circa 1939 who works his way through the ranks to become a formidable wildcatter. Lane Garrison, Austin Nichols and Ali Cobrin co-star. Houston Hill, Camille Scioli Chambers and George Sledge are producing the project for Santa Rita Pictures. Greg McCabe and Brint Ryan will serve as exec producers Van Zandt is repped by Professional Artists and Creative Talent Company.