Frances O’Connor to make Directorial Debut

May 24, 2020
The Australian actress will direct from her own screenplay about the early life of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë.

According to Deadline, Frances O’Connor has cast Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Joe Alwyn (Mary Queen of Scots), Fionn Whitehead (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) and Emily Beecham (Into the Badlands) in Emily.

Mackey will play the title role of the author famous for writing Wuthering Heights, her only novel. Whitehead will play Brontë’s brother Branwell, who she adored, and whose early death many believe led to Emily passing away aged 30. Beecham will play older sister Charlotte Brontë while Alwyn will portray Emily’s lover.

Despite most of the character meeting a very early death, according to O’Connor “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 women 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.”

Frances O’Connor has made the most impact with her roles in overseas productions such as AI, The Missing and The Conjuring 2, but she has regularly returned to Australia for productions as Cleverman and most recently, Go.

Emily will be produced by David Barron (Harry Potter, The Legend Of Tarzan), Piers Tempest and Jo Bamford’s Tempo Productions (The Wife, Churchill) and Australia’s own Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia (Paper Planes, the upcoming The Dry). Connolly, interestingly worked with O’Connor on his film, Three Dollars in 2005. Patterson is a recent addition to Arenamedia, looking to set up co-productions for the company.

Shooting is planned for Yorkshire in the UK in early 2021.

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