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Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots

by Murtada 

Here’s our first peek at Saoirse Ronan as the title character in Mary, Queen Of Scots. The film just started shooting in the UK with theater director Josie Rourke making it her feature directorial debut. It has a mix of veteran and upcoming actors from the non-American English speaking world in its cast. Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn himself), Guy Pearce, David Tennant, Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey) and Gemma Chan.

The film charts the turbulent short life of Mary Stuart and her rivalry for the throne with Elizabeth 1, played in this version by Robbie. One can think of it as a sort of sequel to Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth The Golden Age (2007). Produced by the same people, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. The first draft of the script - hence rewritten by Beau Willimon of House of Cards fame who gets sole credit - was written by those films’ writer, Michael Hirst. It’s as if they’ve taken Samantha Morton’s Mary from the second film and given her center stage. Of course many actresses have played these two women over the years. Mostly in movies about Elizabeth although Vanessa Redgrave played Mary to Glenda Jackson’s Elizabeth in a movie with the same title back in 1971.

Ronan continues her busy post Brooklyn career. Lady Bird is coming out this fall. The adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach will play TIFF. The Seagull adaptation that she made with Annette Bening almost two years ago must come out eventually. We wonder which one of these projects will get her invited back to Oscar? Maybe more than one. She seems like the sort who would become a regular.

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Reader Comments (26)

Saoirse Ronan is winning the Oscar either this year or next. Am I right?

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I remember Dakota Fanning was attached to this film for ages. I love Saoirse, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrittani

Saoirse is fabulous, and I have high hopes for Lady Bird. I could see her having a Kate Winslet-like career.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I don't know if it's the styling or the expression, or both, but she suddenly strikes me as a mini-Blanchett. Or is it just that the image is intentionally evoking Blanchett as Elizabeth I?

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersfenton24

I love the idea of this film completely other then the Elsa from frozen stylings of her costume and hair ... urgghhh

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

Yes, agree with gizmo. That hair looks party city bad but everything else sounds promising...

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

I love EVERYTHING about this project. This has been awhile in the making.

I believe ( could be wrong ) Vanessa Redgrave portrayed Mary at one point.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

What happened to her face? She looks much thinner but also very different, like a different person different.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Yeah, this she looks way different here than she did in Brooklyn. What happened to her cheeks and her chin? Compare this face to any screenshot in Brooklyn.

Hopefully, it is just photoshop in a promo image and she didn't go get plastic surgery and all that shit.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Oh my god, she does not look different. She's obviously just lost a little bit of weight, whereas in Brooklyn she was a bit fuller.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I am not blind, there is a clear nose job here.

I hate when actors change their faces. You do your work with your face, damn it!

(I miss Samantha Morton SO MUCH)

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. Queen of Scots. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob

Should we start our 2018 predictions now.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Her nose has been whittled down. Plastic surgery seems de riguer now for all actresses from Angelina Jolie to Jennifer Lawrence.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

oh my god, her nose has always been like that, she just lost weight, her chubby cheeks gone.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBean

Yavor: Next. Her prospects this year look "busy, but probably won't get nominated". Lady Bird is a truly "actorly" actor getting their minimum single try at directing (Lost River, The Water Diviner, those kinds of things), movies don't lay on the shelf for two years if they're good and as for On Chesil Beach? Unless McEwan realizes that the sexual abuse implication was just insulting and added NOTHING (seriously I love Jessica Jones, but On Chesil Beach's story is one that would play infinitely better in a telling where Florence was just naturally asexual) and cuts it, I hope the Academy passes on it. That having been said? I'm expecting they'll expand on those abuse implications. Why? I can't imagine a version of On Chesil Beach more than 90 minutes long without some expansion of something. Or hacky, overlong moments of dull...akward...pauses. Whichever way prevails, we lose.

August 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I could see her getting a nose job and other slight tweaks to further her chance of getting out of the period piece zone that she seems stuck in. She's got the acting chops and "unconventional" (but still attractive) looks to play all these characters from past eras, but in the Instagram world we live in, she may not be considered ideal casting for contemporary films or blockbuster/tentpole, which often go to pretty girls with very "uniform" appearences (can anyone tell apart Felicity Jones, Daisy Ridley or Emilia Clarke when she's a brunette. They are kind of the same generic casting "type", which is probably why the all got cast as female leads in new Star Wars movies).

Ronan has lost out on some of these roles (like Star Wars and Avengers) to more generic looking actresses, so perhaps she wasnts to get a bit closer to that generic template/look that casting directors seem to go for in bigger movies.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjinnah

This casting seems highly inappropriate age-wise - if this is a sequel to Elizabeth the Golden Age, both queens were close to their 40s (equivalent to 60s today, in terms of people´s looks).

Why is Hollywood, yet again, serving as 20 year old, unrealistically good looking actresses (Robbie as Elizabeth is a joke) instead of more accomplished performers better suited to portray these complex women and their twisted relationship? (purely rhetorical question of course)

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterxyz

xyz: They said "sort of sequel" in the sense of "same people working on it", probably not in the literal sense.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

It can't be a sequel to Elizabeth The Golden Age, unless we're talking about an horror drama in which Mary's ghost comes back to haunt Elizabeth.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

And that would be The Lovely Bones all over again.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Back in 1936, director John Ford made a most unusual foray into the England of the Tudors with Mary of Scotland, starring Katharine Hepburn (Mary) and Florence Eldridge (Elizabeth). The film flopped. Then, as mentioned above, Glenda Jackson (who had already played Elizabeth to much acclaim and Emmys on TV in Elizabeth R) and Vanessa Redgrave recreated the roles. One thing in common between the two films (other than the obvious) was that they both fictionalized an encounter/confrontation between Elizabeth and Mary. In reality, they never met personally. Will this film do the same thing?

Now, this is what would have been interesting: back in the 1998 a film was being developed about the two queens that would star La Streep as Mary and Glenn Close as Elizabeth! Nothing came of it. I wonder if the assignment of roles should have gone the other way around.


August 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Fan from India,Saoirse Ronan is the most talented and gifted actress from this generartion,Same as Meryl Streep from previous generation.Ronan might surely get third time nominated for Oscars from her upcoming movie On Chisel Beach or Mary Queen Of Scotts.MAY GOD BLESS SAOIRSE RONAN

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPrasad

Ronan should have won the Oscar for Brooklyn. I bet the voting was close.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Never felt Ronan till "Brooklyn". Still not convinced it wasn't a one-off.
With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped.

August 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Mary Queen of Scots visits a psychiatrist :-)



August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

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