Frances O’Connor to make directorial debut with Emily Bronte biopic starring Emma Mackey

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Emma Mackey,” who stars in “Sex Education,” has been case in the biopic “Emily.” [Netflix]

Frances O’Connor, whose acting roles have included “Mansfield Park,” “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and “The Conjuring 2,” will make her directorial debut with “Emily,” a biopic about the early years of “Wuthering Heights” novelist Emily Bronte.

O’Connor will direct from her own screenplay, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Emma Mackey, who stars in the Netflix series “Sex Education” alongside Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson, will play the lead role in “Emily.”

The cast also will include Joe Alwyn (“The Favourite”) as Emily’s conflicted lover; Fionn Whitehead (“Dunkirk”) as Branwell Bronte, Emily’s writer-painter brother, who dealt with drug and alcohol addiction; and Emily Beecham (“Hail, Caesar!”) as Emily’s sister and fellow author Charlotte Bronte.

First published in the mid-1800s, “Wuthering Heights” centers on the doomed romance between Catherine and Heathcliff.

“Emily Bronte’s work and words are full of passion, feeling, violence and fierce intelligence,” O’Connor said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. “In creating an imagined life for Emily, she will live again for our audience. Her story is about a young woman daring to form herself, to embrace her true nature, despite the consequences. … I am so excited to work with such a thrilling, talented, young cast; luminous, intelligent, and spirited.”

Production on “Emily” is set to start in Britain’s Yorkshire region in early 2021. Producers on the project include David Barron, Piers Tempest and Jo Bamford of Tempo Productions and Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia.

“We are going to produce a movie of significant ambition, for audiences to enjoy and celebrate the scale of Emily Bronte’s own magnificent imagination,” Barron said in a statement.

Embankment is handling world sales on the project. It will be introduced to buyers at the Cannes virtual market later this month.


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