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Sex Education star Emma Mackey has nabbed the lead role in Emily, Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut about the early years of Wuthering Heights author Emily Bronte.
Embankment is handling world sales on the project, which will be introduced to buyers at the upcoming Cannes virtual market.
The ensemble cast also includes Joe Alwyn, Fionn Whitehead and Emily Beecham. Alwyn will play Emily’s conflicted lover; Whitehead will portray Branwell Bronte, Emily’s inspiring but self-destructive brother; and Beecham will play Emily’s sister and fellow author Charlotte Bronte.
Wuthering Heights was first published in the mid-1800s and revolves around the doomed love affair between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. O’Connor, who starred in Mansfield Park (1999), will direct Emily based on her own screenplay.
“Emily Bronte’s work and words are full of passion, feeling, violence and fierce intelligence,” O’Connor said Thursday in a statement. “In creating an imagined life for Emily, she will live again for our audience. Her story is about a young woman daring to form herself, to embrace her true nature, despite the consequences. … I am so excited to work with such a thrilling, talented, young cast; luminous, intelligent, and spirited.”
Production on Emily is set to start in Britain’s Yorkshire region in early 2021. Producer credits are shared between David Barron, Piers Tempest and Jo Bamford of Tempo Productions and Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia.
Added Barron in his own statement: “We are going to produce a movie of significant ambition, for audiences to enjoy and celebrate the scale of Emily Bronte’s own magnificent imagination.”
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Cannes Film Festival