Oscar nominees Emily Watson and Richard E. Grant have been set to star in director Jason Wingard’s romantic comedy Fado! from a script by Andrea Mann. Global sales agent Protagonist Pictures will introduce the project to buyers at the upcoming Cannes Market.
Fado!, which marks the first time Watson and Grant have shared the screen since they both starred in Robert Altman’s Academy Award-winning period drama Gosford Park, will be shot on location in Lisbon, Portugal and Wolverhampton, UK.
The film follows Linda (Watson), a crossword enthusiast, choral society member, wife and mother of two, and her music lecturer husband, Jim (Grant), who are about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary with a romantic trip to Lisbon. But the night before they travel, Linda discovers a monumental secret that will shake the very foundations of their marriage. Determined not to let this discovery define her life and needing space to process, Linda takes the plane tickets and flies to Lisbon without Jim. Alone in this beautiful city, Linda falls madly in love… with the profoundly moving Portuguese folk music, fado — a sensuous new relationship that will allow her to rediscover the joy and passion within herself.
Fado! is Wingard’s third film. His debut feature, In Another Life, won Best Feature at Raindance and the Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards in 2017. His second feature, the comedy Eaten By Lions, premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2018.
Watson recently starred in HBO’s Chernobyl while Grant is currently shooting period romance Persuasion for Netflix, alongside Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding.
Gareth Wiley (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Match Point) will produce, with Giulia Salvadori as UK co-producer. Portuguese production services will be provided by executive producer team Nuno Martins and Gerardo Fernandes through Disfarce Lda.
Protagonist is arranging financing, with CEO Dave Bishop, Head of Acquisitions Luane Gauer and Head of Sales George Hamilton serving as executive producers.