The historical fiction film about William Shakespeare’s wife is being shot at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners.
“Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao has two big hits for her next film, “Hamnet,” set up at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. Oscar nominees Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal are also in talks to star in the film, a person familiar with the project told IndieWire.
“Hamnet” is a historical fiction about the bard William Shakespeare, telling the story of his wife Anne “Agnes” Hathaway and her romance with the man who would become the world’s most famous playwright. The novel centers on the death of the couple’s son Hamnet, who died aged 11 in 1596 and is believed to have inspired Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Specific character details for Buckley and Mescal have not been released.
“Hamnet” is based on the 2020 New York Times bestselling novel by author Maggie O’Farrell. Zhao is co-writing the screenplay with O’Farrell.
The film is produced by Liza Marshall through Hera Pictures and Pippa Harris, and Sam Mendes through Neal Street Productions. Nic Gonda (“The Tree of Life,” “Knight of Cups”) serves as executive producer on the Book of Shadows label. Amblin President of Production Jeb Brody and Vice President of Creative Affairs Mia Maniscalco are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.
Mescal was recently nominated for an Oscar for his work in last year’s “Aftersun” and has become one of the hottest actors in town to star in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel, Richard Linklater’s “Merrily We Roll.” Along’ and Gareth Evans’ ‘Foe’ alongside Saoirse Ronan. Her other recent film credits include ‘Carmen’, ‘Creatures of God’ and her breakout role in the series ‘Normal People’. And previously, he co-starred with Buckley in the drama “The Lost Daughter” starring Olivia Colman.
Buckley was almost as in demand after her Oscar nominations for “The Lost Daughter” and her breakout work in “Wild Rose.” He is next in the sci-fi starrer “Fingernails” opposite director Christos Nikou and Riz Ahmed, and “Wicked Little Letters,” which reunites him with Olivia Colman. Her other credits include “Women Talking” and “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”
Buckley is repped by United Agents, CAA, Relevant and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Mescal is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown Group.
Deadline first broke the casting news.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.