Keira Knightley to Star in Miss World Comedy-Drama 'Misbehaviour'

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Keira Knightley

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley will also star in the film, coming from 'The Crown' producers Left Bank.

Keira Knightley is set to take lead of an ensemble cast in Misbehaviour, telling the real-life story of the 1970 Miss World competition. 

Coming from The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures and Pathe, which is introducing the film to buyers at the American Film Market, Misbehaviour is being directed by two-time BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls), one of only two women to have won a BAFTA for direction.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Black Mirror) and Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose) will join Knightley in the feature, set in London in 1970 when Miss World, then the most-watched TV show on the planet with more than 100 million viewers and hosted by Bob Hope, descended on the city.

Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly-formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favorite but Miss Grenada — the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.

The film is being produced for Left Bank Pictures by BAFTA nominee Suzanne Mackie (The Crown, Calendar Girls) and by Sarah-Jane Wheale. Executive producers include Andy Harries and Rebecca Frayn for Left Bank; and Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathe.

Pathe will distribute the film in the U.K., France and Switzerland and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.