Margot Robbie is in negotiations to portray Queen Elizabeth I in the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots. Robbie will play the role opposite Saoirse Ronan, who will portray the title character. Working Title and Focus Features will be producing the project, which has yet to be greenlit, but with Robbie attached looks very hopeful. Variety was the first to report.
The screenplay was written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors) and Penelope Skinner. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, who recently worked on Nocturnal Animals and Life, and previously films such as Anna Karenina, Atonement, and The Avengers, is signed on to serve as director of photography. Producers will include Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, and Jane Robertson.
The film would tell the story of the 16th century rivalry that existed between the two cousins, who both coveted the throne of England. Catholics supported Mary as sovereign, while Protestants supported Elizabeth. The conflict ended in the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth maintaining the crown.
Director Josie Rourke is most well-known for her stage directing roles. Early in her career, she worked under the then artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, Sam Mendes, most well-known for directing films American Beauty and James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre. Since 2011, Rourke has been the artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London. She is the first woman to hold that role, as well as the first female theatre director to be appointed the Artistic Director of a major London Theatre. While there, she directed Tom Hiddleston in Shakespeare tragedy Coriolanus.
Robbie can be seen next in Goodbye Christopher Robin as the wife of A.A. Milne, portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson (she previously appeared alongside Gleeson in the 2012 film About Time). Robbie will also be starring in biographical drama I, Tonya as ice skater Tonya Harding, alongside Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney. She is also signed on to portray Maid Marian in the Robin Hood-inspired film Marian, as well as reprise her role of Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squard spin-off Gotham City Sirens.