Focus Features and Working Title have announced that filming is now underway in England and Scotland on the historical drama Mary, Queen of Scots, also revealing the first image of Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan in the title role. Scripted by The Ides of March screenwriter and former House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon, the film is based on the biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots and follows the young Mary’s claim to the English throne and how it threatened Elizabeth I’s sovereignty. Josie Rourke, artistic director for the Donmar Warehouse, makes her feature directorial debut on the project, and Margot Robbie fills the role of Elizabeth I, making for one hell of a dynamic duo.
The cast here is pretty stacked, as Ronan is joined by Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) as well as David Tennant and Guy Pearce. It’s great to see such a fascinating story coming to the screen, but even better that this female-driven series of events is being steered by a female director. It really does feel like we’re on the cusp of seeing far more representation behind the camera, especially in the wake of Wonder Woman, and Mary, Queen of Scots is one to keep an eye on.
No release date just yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Focus and Working Title had their eye on a fall debut in 2018, just in time for awards season. Check out the first image below, followed by the Mary, Queen of Scots synopsis.
Here’s the official synopsis for Mary, Queen of Scots:
Mary, Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1. Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.