EXCLUSIVE: In-demand young talents Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Joe Alwyn (The Favourite), Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) and Emily Beecham (Cruella) will star in Emily, Golden Globe-nominated actress Frances O’Connor’s (Mansfield Park) directorial debut about the early life of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë.
Mackey, star of Netflix smash Sex Education and Fox’s upcoming Death On The Nile, will star as Emily. Harriet and The Favourite actor Alwyn will play Brontë’s conflicted lover. Whitehead, well known for Dunkirk and Emmy-winner Bandersnatch, plays Branwell Brontë, Emily’s inspiring but self-destructive brother, and Cannes 2019’s Best Actress winner Emily Beecham (Little Joe) completes the quartet as sibling writer Charlotte Brontë.
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Embankment will handle world sales on the project, which is slated to shoot in Yorkshire, UK, in Q1, 2021. The firm will be selling from now and during the upcoming Cannes virtual market.
From a self-penned script, O’Connor imagines the transformative, exhilarating, and uplifting journey to womanhood of a rebel and a misfit, one of the world’s most famous, enigmatic, and provocative writers who died too soon at the age of 30.
Double Golden Globe-nominee O’Connor is known for her roles in Mansfield Park, Bedazzled, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Madame Bovary and The Conjuring 2.
Producers are Harry Potter producer David Barron, Piers Tempest and Jo Bamford’s Tempo Productions (The Wife) with Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia (Paper Planes).
O’Connor said: “Emily Brontë’s work and words are full of passion, feeling, violence, and fierce intelligence. In creating an imagined life for Emily, she will live again for our audience. Her story is about a young woman daring to form herself, to embrace her true nature, despite the consequences. Emily is, in fact, a love letter to women today, especially young women, a calling to them to challenge themselves to connect with their authentic voice and potential. I am so excited to work with such a thrilling, talented, young cast; luminous, intelligent, and spirited.”
Harry Potter, Cinderella and The Legend Of Tarzan producer Barron commented, “We are going to produce a movie of significant ambition – for audiences to enjoy and celebrate the scale of Emily Bronte’s own magnificent imagination.”
Embankment’s Tim Haslam added: “We really admire Frances’ expertise for combining highly refreshing and emotional storytelling with detailed research and nuanced observation and we celebrate her as a new voice of cinema”.
Mackey is represented by Kate Staddon at Curtis Brown Group and PJ Shapiro and Julian Zajfen at Ziffren Brittenham. Alwyn is represented by Independent Talent Group, CAA and Peikoff Mahan Popkin. Whitehead is represented by Curtis Brown Group, United Talent Agency and Peikoff Mahan Popkin. Beecham is represented by Troika, Seven Summits Management and ICM.
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