On July 14 Deadline reported that Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer has signed on to take the lead for Audrey’s Children. The film, directed by Ami Canaan Mann, is a biopic of steadfast healthcare pioneer and co-founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities Dr. Audrey Evans. With real-life 97-year-old Evans’ permission and good grace, the biography will chronicle the revolutionary oncologist’s journey from the early ’70s when she was first named Chief of Pediatric Oncology.
Set to portray the world-renowned oncologist is HBO‘s Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer, who won die-hard GOT fans over with a relatively small role as the politically savvy Margaery Tyrell. The English actress has an impressive résumé that includes television roles in hit series like Showtime‘s hit drama The Tudors where she plays the intelligent and driven Anne Boleyn, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, the CBS crime drama Elementary, and Netflix‘s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Dormer‘s film credits include a brief role in Captain America: The First Avenger, Rush alongside Chris Hemsworth (Thor: Love and Thunder), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and 2.
On her role as Evans, Dormer said:
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play someone as monumental and impactful as Dr. Audrey Evans. This film brings to light a woman who has spent her entire career ferociously dedicated to saving the lives of children and supporting families who have gone through unimaginable challenges. Audrey has done so with great heart and modesty. I’m honored to be playing her, and to be a part of this inspiring project.”
Audrey’s Children will center around Evans’ time in oncology during a period when 90% of patients died of cancer. Beginning in the ’70s when Evans was first named Chief of Pediatric Oncology, the film will follow her unconventional journey to co-founding a “world-famous organization that provides housing and support to millions of families in 62 countries around the world,” the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Born in 1925 to a middle-class English family, Evans broke molds from the very beginning. With the full support of her family, she set out to become a doctor at a time when it was incredibly rare for women to aspire for such a career. Despite struggling in school with the memory aspect of learning, Evans pushed through with determination, ultimately mastering the knowledge in her own way through hands-on learning. She particularly excelled in the humanitarian side of the medical world, able to connect to patients and families on a genuine level.
After completing her degree in 1953, Evans took up residency overseas for a handful of years before returning to England. Unaffected by the obvious lack of women within her new profession, Evans remained grateful for her opportunities and kept her sights set on her goals. In 1964, when Evans returned to America, she realized her passion was with the children. Only five years later she was recruited as the first-ever Chief of Pediatric Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Eventually, she founded the children’s cancer center and spent a great portion of her medical career there.
The screenplay for Audrey’s Children is written by Modern Hero‘s Emmy-nominated Julia Fisher Farbman, who will also produce the film, after years of research and personal conversations with Evans. Director Mann is best known for her work on the 2011 crime drama Texas Killing Fields starring Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film will be produced by Amasia’s Bradley Gallo and Michael Helfant, co-produced by Clément Bauer, and executive produced by Resonate‘s Brent Emery, Suzanne Farwell, and Susan Cartsonis.
There is no further information on the cast of Audrey’s Children or a forecasted release date, but production is set to begin in September. Read the official synopsis below, and check out Modern Hero‘s video highlighting Audrey Evans’ legacy:
In 1970 when nearly all children with cancer die, an unconventional and brilliant oncologist breaks all the rules in an effort to revolutionize treatment methods and to provide housing and support to families of sick children.