SAOIRSE RONAN TO STAR AS MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS
OPPOSITE MARGOT ROBBIE AS ELIZABETH I IN JOSIE ROURKE’S FEATURE DIRECTORIAL DEBUT;
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY WRITTEN BY BEAU WILLIMON
Filming has begun on location in England and Scotland on the Working Title Films production of Mary, Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role opposite Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I. Josie Rourke, artistic director of The Donmar Warehouse, makes her feature directorial debut on the movie. Focus Features holds worldwide rights and will release Mary, Queen of Scots in the US and Universal Pictures International (UPI) will distribute the film internationally.
The producers of Mary, Queen of Scots are Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Debra Hayward, all Academy Award nominees as producers of Best Picture Oscar nominee Les Misérables.
Beau Willimon, an Academy Award nominee for The Ides of March and Emmy Award nominee for “House of Cards”, has written the screenplay adaptation. Mary, Queen of Scots is based on John Guy’s acclaimed biography My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots.
Joining the cast are Jack Lowden (Dunkirk, England is Mine), Joe Alwyn (The Sense of an Ending, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen, “Line of Duty”) and Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”, Me Before You). Also featuring in the cast are David Tennant (“Doctor Who”, “Broadchurch”) and Guy Pearce (Memento, LA Confidential, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert).
Mary, Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1. Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.
Saoirse Ronan earned her first Academy Award nomination for Focus and Working Title’s Atonement, and was again an Academy Award nominee for Brooklyn; she also starred for Focus as the title character in Hanna, and other past credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, How I Love Now and The Lovely Bones, as well as the upcoming Ladybird, On Chesil Beach and Loving Vincent. She recently made her Broadway debut in The Crucible. Ronan resides in Ireland. Margot Robbie, a BAFTA Award nominee, has starred in such blockbuster hit movies as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Legend of Tarzan, and Suicide Squad, for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award.
The filmmaking team for Mary, Queen of Scots includes Academy Award winners costume designer Alexandra Byrne, make-up and hair designer Jenny Shircore and editor Chris Dickens, Emmy award winner production designer James Merifield and BAFTA award winner director of photography John Mathieson.
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski said, “We are privileged to be collaborating with our partners at Working Title on this stellar production, and with Josie as she makes the exciting move from stage to screen work. With two of today’s most vital actresses bringing to life two female titans, Mary, Queen of Scots will be one of the movie events of 2018.”
Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner have been co-chairs of Working Title Films, one of the world’s leading film production companies, since 1992. Working Title has made more than 100 films that have grossed over $6 billion worldwide, including over $1 billion at the U.K. box office. Its films have won 12 Academy Awards (for Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables and The Danish Girl; James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything; Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo; Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age; and Joe Wright’s Atonement and Anna Karenina), 39 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, and prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Mr. Bevan and Mr. Fellner have been honored with the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, the PGA’s highest honor for motion picture producers. They have been accorded two of the highest film awards given to British filmmakers: the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at the BAFTA Awards, and the Alexander Walker Film Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. They have also both been honored with CBEs (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire).