Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) has signed onto the upcoming historical film Mary Queen of Scots. He will be acting alongside a strong cast: Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Jack Lowden (Dunkirk).
The film centers around the complex historical figure, Mary Stuart (played by Ronan) and her tumultuous political and social relationship with her ruling cousin, Elizabeth I (played by Robbie). Though Mary was the queen of Scotland by birthright, she also was at one point set to rule France, by virtue of marriage to the heir to throne, Francis I. However, when it came to holding onto power, she was horribly unlucky: her father died when she was close to a year old; her husband and heir to the French throne died shortly into their marriage; and she and Elizabeth constantly struggled to maintain their power at the cost of each others’ sovereignty.
Furthermore, Elizabeth and Mary both symbolized different ideologies, making their leadership as significant and even crucial to the religious climate. Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, broke off from the Catholic church (partly to divorce his first wife to marry Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn), creating the new and divisive Church of England, as well as the Protestant faith. As Mary was Catholic herself, this earned her many supporters of the same faith. Unfortunately, it also ensured her own demise, as she was executed due to her aspirations and actions for the throne.
The film will be directed by Josie Rourke (The Vote) and will begin shooting within the next few months.