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Cynthia Erivo will star in a film adaptation of Suzie Miller’s play, Prima Facie, which is currently playing on Broadway.
Jodie Comer won an Olivier Award for playing Prima Facie’s Tessa, a young barrister who finds herself fighting against the same legal system that had supported her, in the one-woman show in the West End and is currently leading the show on Broadway. Erivo, who is currently starring in the Wicked film, among other projects, will star as Tessa in the film version and will also executive produce, alongside producers Participant and Bunya Productions.
The film will be directed by BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker Susanna White (Woman Walks Ahead, Our Kind of Traitor). Miller adapted the screenplay for the screen.
“I am thrilled to be joining Suzie, Susanna, Participant, Bunya and the rest of the team on this journey with Prima Facie. Tessa’s experience sheds such vulnerable light on the complex conversations around consent and sexual abuse and the law that surrounds it, which is all too relatable for so many and timely for all,” Erivo said. “Jodie Comer’s powerhouse exploration of that struggle on Broadway is nothing short of beautiful and heart-wrenching. When I read this script I knew it was important work to do. I look forward to getting to know who Tessa is to me as Prima Facie goes from stage to screen.”
Prima Facie follows Tessa on her journey from a brash, young lawyer who takes pride in successfully depending individuals accused of sexual assault. Tessa’s view of the British legal system changes after she is sexually assaulted by a colleague and goes through the court process herself.
The play first opened in Australia in 2020, transferred to London and won the 2023 Olivier Awards for Best New Play and Best Actress, and is currently in contention for four Tony Awards on Broadway, including a nod for Comer.
“I am thrilled to have the brilliant Cynthia Erivo join this incredible team; she is a highly talented and nuanced actor who will create a bold and dynamic Tessa for the screen,” Miller said. “I am also excited to be working with such a talented and collaborative director in Susanna White, as well as Bunya Productions and Participant – these are two companies who are truly committed to telling great stories that have real world impact.”
Erivo, who has previously starred in feature films such as Harriet and Widows, as well as The Color Purple on Broadway, is represented by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, Peikoff Mahan and The Lede Company.
Variety first reported the news.
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