×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rooney Mara Starrer ‘Blackbird’ Starts Shooting in Southern England

Rooney Mara won Cannes' actress award last month for her role in 'Carol'

LONDON — Benedict Andrews’ “Blackbird,” which stars Rooney Mara, has started shooting in the South of England. Pic, which is described as “an intense, unflinching examination of damaged love,” is produced by Jean Doumanian, whose credits include “August: Osage County,” “Saturday Night Live” and several Woody Allen movies, and Patrick Daly for Jean Doumanian Prods., alongside Maya Amsellem for WestEnd Films.

Mara, who won the actress award at the Cannes Film Festival in May for her performance in “Carol,” will play opposite Ben Mendelsohn (“Animal Kingdom,” “Starred Up”). Scottish playwright David Harrower penned the screenplay, which is based on his Olivier Award-winning play.

In the film, Ray (Mendelsohn) is confronted with his past when the young and beautiful Una (Mara) arrives unannounced at his office. Fifteen years earlier, the two had an illicit affair, for which Ray was arrested and imprisoned. He has since built a new life for himself; she is looking for answers.

Andrews said: “I am relishing the opportunity to bring this vital, highly charged story to the screen. David has written a beautiful, brutal script, and I have two outstanding actors in the roles of Ray and Una. The fragility and extremities of human experience are central to my work — and ‘Blackbird’ is no exception.”

“Blackbird” marks Andrews’ feature film directorial debut. He is an Australian stage director whose most recent theatrical productions have included the sellout London production of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster, and Sydney Theatre Company’s touring production of “The Maids” at the Lincoln Center Festival, New York, which starred Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert.

“Blackbird” has a strong lineup of talent behind the camera too: director of photography Thimios Bakatakis (“The Lobster,” “Dogtooth”), production designer Fiona Crombie (“Snowtown,” “Macbeth”), hair and make-up designer Jan Sewell (“Everest,” “X-Men: First Class”), costume designer Steven Noble (BAFTA-nominated for “The Theory of Everything”) and editor Nick Fenton (“Life,” “Submarine”).

Executive producers are Kevin Loader (“Wuthering Heights,” “Hyde Park on Hudson”), Sharon Harel and Eve Schoukroun of WestEnd Films, which is handling international sales, and David Kosse and Sam Lavender for Film4. Celia Duval is co-producer. Financial backing has been provided by Film4 and Creative Scotland.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • If I Were a Rich Man

    Filmax Nabs Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Filmax has taken international rights to Álvaro Fernández Armero’s comedy “If I Were a Rich Man.” Produced by Telecinco Cinema, Think Studio and Ciskul, and backed by Mediaset España and Movistar+, “If I Were a Rich Man” is a Spanish remake of Michel Munz and Gerard Bitton’s French comedy “Ah! Si j’étais [...]

  • Baby

    Latido Takes Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s 'Baby' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Latido Films has taken world sales rights outside Spain on Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s “Baby,” a drama with a psychological thriller narrative thrust starring Rosie Day (“Down a Dark Hall”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Phantom Thread”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), Charo López (“All Night Long”) and young actress Mafalda Carbonell (“To Live Twice”). [...]

  • Noahs Ark

    India’s Symbiosys to Co-Produce, Co-Animate Gullane’s ‘Noah’s Ark’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Noah’s Ark – A Musical Adventure,” Brazil’s most ambitious animated feature ever, just got a bit bigger with the announcement that producers Fabiano Gullane’s Gullane, Walter Salles’ Videofilmes and Felipe Sabino and Daniel Greco’s NIP will be joined by leading Indian animation studio Symbiosys Technologies as co-producers and co-animators. The partnership marks the first occasion [...]

  • Navarra

    Navarre Film Commission Celebrates First Decade at San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —    Since the 1950s, Spain has been a favorite European shooting locale. One of the biggest reasons remains its easily accessible, unique and diverse locations. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this past June, the Navarre Film Commission kicked off a traveling exhibition which has been touring Spain over the summer and will present [...]

  • Rambo Last Blood

    Film Review: 'Rambo: Last Blood'

    Home has always been an abstract concept for John Rambo, which is what the last scene of 2008’s otherwise expendable “Rambo” sequel finally gave the iconic Sylvester Stallone character: a moment when this unsettled Vietnam War survivor, looking very much the worse for wear, lumbers up to a mailbox bearing the character’s surname. At last, [...]

  • Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith. Jada

    Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Westbrook Inks Development Pact With Telepool (EXCLUSIVE)

    Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s new media venture, Westbrook Inc., has signed a co-development agreement for feature films, television shows and digital entertainment formats with German-based film and TV company Telepool. The move follows the acquisition of Telepool last year by Smith and Elysian Fields, a Zurich-based investment company. Westbrook, launched this year by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content