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Principal photography on Emily, the biopic of famed Wuthering Heights author
Emily Brontë, has begun in the U.K., with a first look of Sex Education star Emma Mackey in the lead role released, alongside new castings and a number of key international sales.
Joining Mackey — who picked up her first BAFTA nomination for the Netflix teen comedy earlier on Wednesday — are Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, The Haunting of Hill House), Alexandra Dowling (The Musketeers), Amelia Gething (The Spanish Princess), as well as BAFTA nominee Gemma Jones (Ammonite, Rocketman) and Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty).
Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) was previously announced as appearing in the Emily, which marks the writer-director debut for actress-turned-filmmaker Frances O’Connor, a two-time Golden Globe nominee for performances in The Missing and Madame Bovary.
From a self-penned script, O’Connor has imagined a transformative journey to womanhood of one of the world’s most famous, enigmatic and passionate writers.
“Emily Brontë’s writing is steeped in such passion, feeling, violence and fierce intelligence – that I’ve always yearned to know who she really was,” said O’Connor. “Emily is about a rebel and misfit, a young woman daring to form herself, to embrace her true nature, despite the consequences. And, in creating an imagined life for her, I hope Emily Brontë will live again.”
Embankment, which is executive producing and arranging financing, has sold multiple territories including U.K. to Warner Bros., with Wild Bunch taking France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as Italy and Spain through its subsidiaries BIM and Vertigo. Other sales include Portugal (Nos), Benelux (Cineart), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Greece (Spentzos), Israel (United King), Middle East (Front Row), South Africa (Filmfinity) and Australia/New Zealand (Madman).
Emily is being produced by David Barron (Harry Potter franchise, Cinderella, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and Piers Tempest (Military Wives, Ordinary Love, The Wife) with Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia (The Dry, Paper Planes). Funding comes from Ingenious Media, with Peter Touche as an executive producer, and from Spitfire Audio Holdings, The Post Republic and Tempo.
Added O’Connor: “Our film will brim with energy — intimately capturing the emotional intensity and adrenaline of youth, with all its messy honesty, heartbreak, humor and fearlessness; matched by the scale of our stunning locations.”