Sex Education star Emma Mackey has been cast alongside an array of young actors for Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut Emily. Starring alongside her is Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Joe Alwyn (The Favourite), and Emily Beecham (Cruella).
The third-eldest of the four famous Brontë siblings, Emily published a single novel, Wuthering Heights, under the pen name Ellis Bell. More than 100 years later, the book is considered a classic across the globe. Mackey will portray the rebellious author onscreen with Whitehead and Beecham as her siblings, Branwell and Charlotte.
Frances O’Connor has acted in her fair share of classic novel adaptations, including Mansfield Park and The Importance of Being Earnest (written by Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde), and earned herself two Golden Globe nominations. Now, however, she’s delving into the “transformative, exhilarating, and uplifting” life of one of Yorkshire’s most famous writers.
O’Connor told Deadline: “Emily Brontë’s work and words are full of passion, feeling, violence, and fierce intelligence. 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. Emily is, in fact, a love letter to today, especially young women, a calling to them to challenge themselves to connect with their authentic voice and potential. I am so excited to work with such a thrilling, talented, young cast; luminous, intelligent, and spirited.”
The film will be produced by Piers Tempest and Jo Bramford’s Tempo Productions (Military Wives), Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson’s Arenamedia (Paper Planes), and David Barron (Harry Potter), who states: “we are going to produce a movie of significant ambition – for audiences to enjoy and celebrate the scale of Emily Brontë’s own magnificent imagination.”
Filming is said to begin in Yorkshire in 2021.
Words by Libby Briggs