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Michelle Williams has signed up to star as Katherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII’s six wives, in Firebrand.
Written by Jessica Ashworth (Killing Eve), the film will be the English-language debut of Karim Aïnouz, whose latest feature, Mariner of The Mountains, is getting a special screening in Cannes this year.
Firebrand is produced by Gabrielle Tana (The Dig) of Magnolia Mae Films and slated to go into production in the U.K. in late 2022.
“I could not be more excited to be bringing the undiscovered story of Katherine Parr to the screen, a ferociously brilliant woman who I am inspired by deeply and has been largely invisible, or certainly under-represented in English history,” says Aïnouz. “Much is known about Henry VIII’s tyrannical reign, and those who perished and suffered at his hands, but my focus here is on a woman who not only managed to survive, but also, to thrive. This is a reimagining of a ‘period’ film, a psychological horror film set in the Tudor court; a story of intrigue, agency and survival. Having Michelle Williams portray this remarkable woman, an actress of immeasurable talent and passion, is a dream come true.”
Aïnouz’s recent work include Invisible Life, which won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes in 2019 and documentary Central Airport THF, about Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, which won the Amnesty International award at the Berlinale in 2018.
Further creatives involved in Firebrand include DP Hélène Louvart, (Invisible Life), Oscar-nominated production designer Maria Djurkovic, who recently worked with Tana on The Dig, and was BAFTA-nominated for her work and costume designer Lisa Duncan (Small Axe). Nina Gold is casting director. No other further casting is currently in place.
The Match Factory is handling sales in Cannes on Mariner of the Mountains.
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