LONDON — Jack Davenport, who played British naval officer James Norrington in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, is in final negotiations to join the cast of inter-racial love-story movie “A United Kingdom,” which will be directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Amma Asante, and stars “Selma’s” David Oyelowo and “Gone Girl’s” Rosamund Pike. Shooting on the film starts today in Botswana.
Davenport’s other credits include Matthew Vaughn’s movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Smash,” the NBC series about a Broadway musical, and PBS medical drama “Breathless.”
“A United Kingdom” has also added several other cast members: Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” franchise and also appeared in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Nicholas Lyndhurst, who was three times BAFTA nominated for comedy “Only Fools and Horses…,” Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley in “Downton Abbey,” and Arnold Oceng, who starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in “The Good Lie.”
The script is written by Guy Hibbert, who has won four BAFTAs: for “No Child of Mine,” “Omagh,” “Five Minutes of Heaven” and “Complicit.”
The film tells the true story of the relationship between Seretse Khama, the chief to be of the powerful Bamangwato tribe in the British colony of Bechuanaland in the late 1940s, and a white, middle-class Englishwoman, Ruth Williams, and how hostility to their marriage exposed the racism of the British government. Khama later become the first president of Botswana, following its independence.
Oyelowo is producing the film alongside Rick McCallum, who produced the “Star Wars” prequels, Pathe’s Cameron McCracken, “The Help” producer Brunson Green, Justin Moore-Lewy and Charlie Mason. World sales and finance house Pathe Intl. is backing the pic.
Oyelowo was nominated for a Golden Globe for “Selma” and nominated for a Primetime Emmy for “Nightingale.” Pike received Oscar, BAFTA and SAG nominations for “Gone Girl.”
Asante’s filmmaking credits include 2004’s “A Way of Life,” for which she won a BAFTA, and 2014’s “Belle,” which was distributed by Icon Films in Australia, and Fox Searchlight in the U.S., U.K. and rest of the world. Felton also appeared in “Belle.”