I recently had a tantalizing comment on my last post about The Grand Sophy film on this blog which went like this:
Financing is being pulled together now. Film will shoot in either May or September 2016 with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in supporting roles.
It was anonymous and so could not be directly followed up. However I took the liberty of contacting Jennifer Kloester, the author of Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller to see if she knew anything about this. She is a wonderfully knowledgeable source and she was recently speaking at the unveiling of the blue plaque on the Wimbledon birthplace of Georgette Heyer, with Stephen Fry!
|Photo by Elizabeth Hawksley from historicalromanceuk.blogspot.ca|
Jennifer Kloester speaking at the blue plaque ceremony
Jennifer was able to contact the agent for the Heyer estate who said:
"They've got a great young actress called Jessie Buckley for Sophy, and Rob Ashford as director, and they're working on yet another draft of the script, but no production date has been set. The producers are talking about trying to attract A-listers for subsidiary roles, but no names have been mentioned."
|Jessie Buckley as Princess Marya from War and Peace|
Jessie Buckley seems a good choice for Sophie as she got rave reviews for her performance in the recent BBC version of War and Peace by Andrew Davies (Viv Groskop of The Guardian called her a marvel). I haven't seen War and Peace yet but have been advised to track down the UK version as the American version was ruthlessly edited (thanks Janeheiress).
|Jessie Buckley- much prettier when not playing a pious Russian Princess!|
A bit more unusual is the choice of Rob Ashford as director. He is originally a Broadway stage choreographer and now director but he has been working closely with Kenneth Branagh lately both directing in the West End and also doing choreography for the film Cinderella. I wonder if Ashford could talk Ken B into a cameo role. I would also be surprised if Stephen Fry wasn't interested in being a part of this project. Although if Colin Firth is truly involved, we may run out of older male parts (unless they leave in the horrid moneylender scene!).
If Helena Bonham Carter IS involved, I wonder if she would she make a better Marquesa or Lady Ombersley? Or how about Emma Thompson for one of those fun supporting ladies? Oh, here I am trying to help with the casting but it is really fun to imagine oneself as a casting director.
I would imagine Stephen Fry to be a wonderful Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy wouldn't you?
Now maybe I will have to try to contact the scriptwriter Olivia Hetreed to see how the project is progressing. Perhaps we should start a Twitter campaign to show the BBC et al that there is an eager audience waiting patiently for this to happen. And of course, if any of you haven't yet signed the petition for a Georgette Heyer film the link is here:
Comments below are very welcome!
Update: Petition Buzz is now defunct and so our wonderful petition for a Georgette Heyer film is gone, although it had almost 2000 names from all over the world! Keep leaving comments here and on GoodReads (or anywhere searchable) and hopefully the powers that be will hear us. Fingers crossed...