Emmy nominee Rupert Friend (Homeland, The Death of Stalin) and Evanna Lynch (the Harry Potter franchise) have been cast in James and Lucia, a biopic about the relationship between legendary writer James Joyce and his dancer daughter, according to Deadline. Notably, this will be the second time Lynch has portrayed Lucia Joyce, after the 2019 short Lucia Joyce: Full Capacity.
Per IMDB, Friend and Lynch join the previously-cast Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting, Rosaline), who will play Joyce’s wife and Lucia’s mother, Nora; Alex Kingston (Croupier, A Discovery of Witches), who will play magazine editor and political activist Harriet Weaver; and Derek Jacobi (Good Omens, Tomb Raider), in the role of Swiss ophthalmologist Alfred Vogt.
Written and directed by Robert Mullan (Mad to Be Normal, Killer Retreat), James and Lucia will reportedly focus on the final decade of the Ulysses author’s life. This was a tumultuous era for Joyce; not only was he combating a decades-long affliction of his sight, but Lucia was diagnosed as schizophrenic by the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. In fact, according to Mullan, “James & Lucia is less a story about literary genius and more about a father’s deep love for his daughter – as he protects her from unsuitable lovers, enthusiastic psychiatrists and, most importantly, her own demons.”
James and Lucia will be produced by Rupert Hollier, whose previous credits include acting as music supervisor for the sci-fi disaster pic Moonfall and the Nicolas Cage vehicle Willy’s Wonderland; Gabrielle Whyte Hart (Becoming), who will also serve as the film’s casting director; and Emanuele Moretti (Assassin Club) for Motus Studios. Additionally, Simon Fawcett (Lone Survivor, the 2017 Flatliners remake) will serve as executive producer for Filmtrax Media.
Scheduled to commence production in Italy this April, Motus will shop James and Lucia to potential distributors at this week’s EFM (European Film Market) in Berlin.
Lynch‘s most recent feature film credit is 2019’s Madness in the Method, the directorial debut of Jay and Silent Bob star Jason Mewes. She also leant her voice to an episode of the animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Friend, meanwhile, had a busy 2022, taking lead roles in both the Disney+ limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi and the David E. Kelly legal drama Anatomy of a Scandal. The British actor has a number of other projects already in the pipeline, including Canary Black, an action-thriller helmed by Taken‘s Pierre Morel; The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, based on the book by Roald Dahl; and Asteroid City. The latter two films will reunite Friend with filmmaker Wes Anderson, who previously directed Friend in 2021’s The French Dispatch.