EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate UK and Gangs Of London star Sope Dirisu have joined Number 9 Films’ (Carol) feature drama Mothering Sunday, which is now underway in UK .
As we revealed earlier this year, the film will also star Odessa Young, BAFTA-nominee Josh O’Connor and Oscar winners Colin Firth and Olivia Colman.
Director Eva Husson’s (Girls Of The Sun) movie is written by Emmy-nominee Alice Birch (Normal People, Succession), and is based on the novel of the same name by Graham Swift.
The story focuses on the day of March 30, 1924 in Beechwood, England. Jane Fairchild (Young), a maid in the Niven household, has the day off to celebrate Mothering Sunday while Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Firth and Colman) attend a lunch to celebrate the engagement of their neighbour’s only remaining son, Paul (O’Connor). Although Jane rejoices at her freedom on an unseasonably hot, beautiful spring day, she has no mother to go to—and for almost seven years she has, joyfully and without shame, been Paul’s lover. Like the Nivens, Paul belongs to England’s old-monied social class, whereas Jane was orphaned at birth. With the house conveniently empty, they can finally meet in Paul’s bedroom for the first time. Today will be their last as lovers. It is also the day that will mark the beginning of her transformation.
Rising Brit actor Dirisu will play the role of Donald, a significant figure in Jane’s later life.
Lionsgate UK is planning a theatrical release in 2021. Rocket Science is handling international sales and has closed a number of deals, including selling Australian rights to Transmission and Japanese rights to Shochiku.
Upcoming Dirisu has Netflix’s Sundance horror thriller His House, the second season of His Dark Materials, Matthew Vaughn-produced Silent Night and rom-com Mr Malcolm’s List.
Producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley commented: “We’ve been following Sope’s career as an actor in theatre, film and television for some time – he gave a standout performance as Biff in Marianne Elliot’s Death of a Salesman, and along with director Eva Husson we believe he will make a fantastic Donald in Alice Birch’s adaptation of Graham’s novel. His versatility and skill will be a great asset in playing a character whose age range spans across two decades, and we are very excited to add him to an already exceedingly talented cast.”
Mothering Sunday was developed with support from Film4 and the BFI awarding National Lottery funding, with financing from Film4, BFI and Lipsync. Film4 retain UK free TV rights.
Dirisu is repped by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin.
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