EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features will not only open AFI Fest this November, but they will close the Hollywood festival as well. Deadline hears from several that Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots starring Oscar nominees Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I and Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart will make its world premiere on closing night, Nov. 15.
Earlier today it was officially announced that Focus Features/Participant Media’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex will make its world season premiere at AFI on Thursday, Nov. 8 prior to its Christmas Day opening.
Mary Queen of Scots follows Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, which winds up getting her condemned to prison prior to her execution. House of Cards creator Beau Willimon adapted John Guy’s book “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart”. Guy Pearce, David David Tennant and Gemma Chan also star. Working Title produced Mary Queen of Scots with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward producing. The movie opens on Dec. 7 in U.S./Canada.
Robbie earned a best actress Oscar nomination last year for her portrayal of disgraced Olympian ice skater Tonya Harding in NEON/30WEST’s I, Tonya. Ronan was first nominated in the best supporting category at the Academy Awards for her turn in Focus Features’ 2007 Atonement, followed by best actress nods for Fox Searchlight’s 2015 title Brooklyn and last year’s Lady Bird from A24.
Last year Deadline broke the news that Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World was closing AFI, however, the film was pulled from the event in the wake of Kevin Spacey’s sexual allegations; Sony and the pic’s financiers sent the movie back into reshoots with Christopher Plummer playing Spacey’s role of J. Paul Getty.