Star Wars star Daisy Ridley is teaming with Naomi Watts for Ophelia, a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Claire McCarthy (2009’s drama The Waiting City) is directing the project, which adapts the 2006 YA book by Lisa Klein. Semi Chellas (Mad Men) wrote the script.
Covert Media is financing the film that’s being produced by Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger and Sarah Curtis. Covert is handling international rights to the film.
CAA, which packaged and arranged the financing, will represent the film’s U.S. rights.
Hamlet tells of the revenge plotted by Prince Hamlet on his uncle, Claudius, who killed his father, married his mother, and took the crown of Denmark.
This project takes the female-centric view of the proceedings, telling the tale from the point of view of Ophelia, the daughter of Claudius’ chief advisor who falls for Hamlet.
(Ridley would play Ophelia while Watts would play Gertrude, the queen of Denmark and Hamlet’s mother.)
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most tragic plays (spoiler alert: more characters die in it than in a season’s worth of Game of Thrones) but Klein’s takes a different road, landmarked with a secret wedding, characters who survive and a semi-happy ending.
Producer Bobker channeled his own inner bard to provide the following quote on the project: “Sarah, Ehren & I have always treated this film like a jewel, since there’s something extra precious in bringing to life a treasured female icon, celebrated for centuries as an alluring figure in the shadows of Shakespeare’s most famous work, without ever really having her own story told. Whether it’s for the legions of fans of romantic tragic characters, or the millions of visitors who annually seek out the classic Millais painting of Ophelia at London’s Tate Gallery, Ophelia holds a special place in the heart of the cultural canon — so we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the talented female team of Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, and Claire McCarthy set to make a film with our friends at Covert Media that’ll finally shed light on a character who’s fascinated so many for so long.”