The film, which is set in 1968 at the peak of Springfield’s popularity, will follow the Son of a Preacher Man and Just A Little Lovin’ hitmaker as she travels to Memphis, Tennessee to record Dusty in Memphis. It will follow her as she navigates her way through the politics of the recording studio and the city and will also explore her encounter with the music of Motown, her stand against apartheid policies during her aborted South African tour, and her thorny brushes with men in the music industry.
Nagy has written the screenplay and will direct the film, which will be shot in the UK and U.S. in spring 2019.
So Much Love reunites Nagy with Number 9 Films, which produced Carol, which earned the writer an Oscar nomination. It is also the third feature that British actor Arterton has made with the production company, having starred in Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest and Neil Jordan’s Byzantium.
Arterton said, “I have been an admirer of Dusty Springfield since I was a teenager: her effortless husky voice, the way she conveyed emotion through music, how she helped bring Motown to the UK. Dusty was ahead of her time in many ways and inspired so many future artists. She was generous, witty, mercurial, shy, extrovert and a true English eccentric. I simply cannot wait to play her.”
Nagy added, “Dusty Springfield has long been a hero of mine — an innovative, brilliant artist and a complex, contradictory woman — I can’t wait to bring her to life on screen. I am thrilled to partner with Number 9 on So Much Love, our third film together. Elizabeth and Stephen are inspiring producers who advocate fiercely for their filmmakers’ visions. And to collaborate with an artist of Gemma’s caliber — she’s an amazing talent — is a writer/director’s dream come true.”
Number 9 Films’ Karlsen said, “In the tradition of Walk The Line and La Vie En Rose, all-time great films about female singers, So Much Love tells the as yet un-filmed story of a woman whose work redefined the cultural landscape as the greatest soul singer to come out of the UK. Stephen Woolley and I are proud to follow Carol and Colette with So Much Love, a story that places a woman at its centre and to be reuniting with two great female talents behind and in front of the camera, Phyllis Nagy and Gemma Arterton.”