Move over, “Reign” (sorry, CW!), there’s a new adaptation of the historical Mary Stuart vs. Queen Elizabeth I royal feud in town.
Margot Robbie is in talks to play Queen Elizabeth I opposite Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”) as Mary Stuart in Focus Features and Working Title’s “Mary Queen Of Scots.” Josie Rourke (“The Vote,” “Saint Joan”) is set to direct, with Working Title stalwarts Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Liza Chasin (“Fargo,” “Atonement,” “The Theory Of Everything”) to produce.
The drama will be based on the true story of Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, only to be condemned to years of imprisonment before being executed. While film has not been officially greenlit, with Robbie and Ronan now attached, it is sure to begin pre-production soon, hopefully later in the year.
With enormous successes including “The Wolf Of Wall Street” and “Suicide Squad” (in which she was one of its few bright spots as the cheerfully crazy Harley Quinn) under her belt, Robbie has steadily risen up the industry ladder and has made smart and savvy choices in selecting roles and developing her own material.
This royal role would be especially enticing, as ‘Mary’ is a project with serious awards-season potential and sure to be heavily campaigned by Focus. It also doesn’t hurt that Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench were nominated for Oscars for their portrayals of Elizabeth I, with Dench winning Best Supporting Actress for her eight minutes as the Queen in “Shakespeare In Love.” Third time’s a charm, perhaps?
Robbie is currently Fox Searchlight’s “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” where she plays Daphne Milne, wife of “Winnie The Pooh” author A.A. Milne. She also recently wrapped production on “I, Tonya” starring as the titular Tonya Harding, which Robbie produced under her Lucky Chap Entertainment banner. [Variety]