English novelist and famed author of Frankenstein takes center stage in the new IFC Films feature, Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning (The Beguiled) in the titular role. The film debuted at TIFF. Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), a female Saudi Arabian director, helms from a script she co-wrote with Emma Jensen in Jensen’s feature film screenwriting debut. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Al-Mansour said, “We wanted to portray a strong woman who is willing to step out of line and find her own voice.”
The film covers Shelley’s life leading up to the publication of her famous novel, including her romance with her future husband and fellow writer, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth). The film also captures the legendary summer the couple spent in Geneva with other famous Romantic poets including Lord Byron, who one evening proposes a contest as to who among them could write the best ghost story. This challenge was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The trailer shows that she has to fight an uphill battle to prove that the story was her own and not her husband’s. Also in the cast are Bel Powley (Carrie Pilby), Tom Sturridge (Journey’s End), Jack Hickey (TV’s Emmerdale), Joanna Froggatt (TV’s Downton Abbey), Ben Hardy (Only the Brave), and Stephen Dillane (Darkest Hour).
Mary Shelley bows in theaters on May 25. Check out the trailer below: