Margot Robbie's 'Mary Queen of Scots' to Close AFI Fest

The Focus Features and Working Title project, which also stars Saoirse Ronan, will have a world premiere on Nov. 15.

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are set to play royalty when Mary Queen of Scots closes the upcoming AFI Fest.

The Focus Features and Working Title project, which stars Robbie as Queen Elizabeth opposite Ronan's Mary Stuart, will have its world premiere on Nov. 15.

"This commanding story of powerful women and political rivalry that shaped world history will close AFI Fest on a high note," AFI Festivals director Michael Lumpkin said Tuesday in a statement, adding, "This year's festival showcases compelling women-directed narratives that challenge the status quo, and Mary Queen of Scots is no exception."

The pic focuses on the historical family rivalry between Elizabeth and Mary, when the latter attempted to overthrow her cousin's seat on the English thrown. The story centers on Mary who, as a child, was taken to France and betrothed to King Henry II's eldest son Francis. But the marriage was short-lived when Francis died a year after assuming power following his father's death and Mary returned to Scotland in an attempt to regain favor with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.

Josie Rourke directed Mary Queen of Scots from a script by Michael Hirst and Penelope Skinner. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Liza Chasin produced.

Another Focus release, Participant Media's On the Basis of Sex, the origin story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and directed by Mimi Leder, will open AFI Fest with its own world premiere on Nov. 8.  

AFI Fest, besides offering a sampling of global cinema, has also established itself as a launching ground for year-end award hopefuls such as Ava DuVernay's Selma, Clint Eastwood's America Sniper, Damien Chazelle's La La Land and Dee Rees' Mudbound.