Joe Alwyn Joins Margot Robbie in 'Mary Queen of Scots' (Exclusive)

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Joe Alwyn

Saoirse Ronan also is starring in the Focus Features and Working Title project.

Rising star Joe Alwyn, who starred in Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, has been cast opposite Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots.

The Working Title and Focus Features project, which will be helmed by Josie Rourke, chronicles the historical family rivalry between Elizabeth and Mary, when the latter attempted to overthrow her cousin's seat on the English throne.

The story centers on Mary (Ronan), who, as a child, was taken to France and betrothed to King Henry II's eldest son Francis. But the marriage is short-lived when Francis dies a year after being crowned king following his father's death and Mary returns to Scotland in an attempt to regain favor with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth (Robbie).

Alwyn will play Dudley, Queen Elizabeth's counselor and lover.

Mary Queen of Scots is based on John Guy's 2004 biography The True Life of Mary Stuart. Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title are producing the pic along with Debra Hayward. Michael Hirst and Penelope Skinner wrote the script.

Alwyn is an in-demand rising star after Lee cast him as the titular character in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. He starred in the 2016 war drama opposite Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart and Vin Diesel. (Before the film, Alwyn had never acted in front of professional cameras.) The British actor also starred in The Sense of an Ending with Charlotte Rampling, and will star opposite Emma Stone in The Favourite, a period drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster).

Alwyn is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.