'Avatar' Star Sam Worthington Joins 'Seacole' Cast (Exclusive)

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Sam Worthington

Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Jamaican healer Mary Seacole in the true-life period drama from director Charlie Stratton that will be unveiled to buyers at Berlin's European Film Market next month.

Avatar star Sam Worthington has signed up to the cast of Seacole, a period drama from In Secret director Charlie Stratton. Worthington joins Belle actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who stars as 19th century Jamaican physician Mary Seacole in the true-life story.

Empire writer Dianne Houston co-wrote the screenplay for Seacole with Marnie Dickens (Ripper Street) and Stratton.

The story follows the inspirational, but mostly unknown story of Seacole, who was instrumental in setting up the so-called British Hotel to care for the sick and wounded during the Crimean War. Seacole's story has often been overshadowed by that of her (white) contemporary Florence Nightingale. After the war, Seacole became the first black female best-selling author in Britain. In 2004, she was voted the greatest black Briton in history.

Harbinger Pictures, Epic Match Media and UMedia are co-producing and co-financing Seacole, with Brunson Green (The Help, A United Kingdom),  Hilary Shor (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Peter Bevan (Mandy) producing alongside Karl Richards, and Billy Peterson. Production is set to start this spring.

The Exchange is handling worldwide sales on Seacole and will introduce the project to buyers at Berlin's European Film Market next month.

Worthington, along with co-stars Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, are set to return to the Avatar franchise for four films, scheduled for release through 2025. The actor will next been seen in Brad Anderson's action thriller Fracture on Netflix.

Worthington is represented by Anonymous Content, CAA, Shanahan Management and Hansen, Jacobson, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Keller.