Catapulting the historical aristocracy drama to frenzied heights of popularity, the premiere of “Downton Abbey” in 2010 ushered in the transatlantically popular era of elaborate costumes, ornate, sprawling country estates, and prim and proper accents; a callback to the fundamentally English principles of empire and nobility, never to be tainted by realism or accuracy. Twelve years later, on the coattails of the highly successful “Bridgerton,” comes “Mr. Malcolm’s List,” a romance drama set amongst the same regency decadence as the latter, and similarly eschewing the traditionalism of the former, offering a modern, updated take on the genre.
Beginning life as a self-published novel, “Mr. Malcom’s List” was subsequently molded into a screenplay by its author, Suzanne Allain. Ending up on The Black List, the screenplay came to the attention of director Emma Holly Jones, who partnered with Refinery29 to develop a short film based on Allain’s script. Following the short film’s success, the production of a feature-length film was greenlit, the official synopsis of which can be read here:
When she fails to meet an item on his list of requirements for a bride, Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton) is jilted by London’s most eligible bachelor, Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù). Feeling humiliated and determined to exact revenge, she convinces her friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) to play the role of his ideal match. Soon, Mr. Malcolm wonders whether he’s found the perfect woman…or the perfect hoax.
The film stars Freida Pinto, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park, with Zawe Ashton, and Theo James of the “Divergent” film series rounding out the cast. “Mr. Malcolm’s List” will be released in theaters on July 1 in the U.S. by Bleecker Street. Watch the trailer below.