Keira Knightley is set to star in Miss World pageant comedy drama “Misbehaviour” for Pathé. Pathé will present the film, which is directed by BAFTA-winner Philippa Lowthorpe, to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.
“Misbehaviour” is based on the true events of the 1970 Miss World pageant in London, when a global audience witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head. The most-watched television show in the world at the time, with more than 100 million viewers, the 1970 Miss World pageant saw the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieve overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast, hosted by Bob Hope, claiming that such beauty competitions demeaned women. When the show resumed, the result caused further uproar when Miss Grenada became the first black woman to be crowned Miss World, beating the favorite. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley co-star in the film.
The movie is produced by Suzanne Mackie for Left Bank Pictures and written by Rebecca Frayn with revisions by Gaby Chiappe. Andy Harries and Frayn serve as executive producers for Left Bank alongside Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé.
It marks Lowthorpe’s sophomore feature after 2016’s “Swallows and Amazons.” The director is one of only two women to have won a BAFTA TV Award for direction, having won twice: in 2013 with “Call the Midwife” and earlier this year with miniseries “Three Girls.”
Knightley, a two-time Oscar nominee for 2005’s “Pride & Prejudice” and 2014’s “The Imitation Game,” was most recently seen in Wash Westmoreland’s biopic “Colette,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. She will next be seen in Disney’s “The Nutcrackers and the Four Realms,” which opens in the U.S. on Nov. 2. She has also completed James Kent’s “The Aftermath,” due to release in spring 2019, and Gavin Hood’s whistleblower drama “Official Secrets,” which is in post-production.
Pathé is set to distribute “Misbehaviour” in the U.K., France and Switzerland as well as handling sales on the film for the rest of the world.
This year’s AFM runs Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.