Principal photography has begun on Firebrand, which sees Academy award-winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex-Machina) playing the part of Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts, The Nest) will star opposite Vikander as Henry VIII. Cast members joining the duo include Erin Doherty (The Crown, Chloe) as Anne Askew, Simon Russell Beale (Operation Mincemeat, Benediction) as Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Sam Riley (Rebecca, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) and Eddie Marsan (The Gentlemen, Vice) who will play Thomas and Edward Seymour respectively. Further casting includes Ruby Bentall (Poldark), Bryony Hannah (Call The Midwife) and Maia Jemmett. Olivier award-winning Patsy Ferran will play Princess Mary and Junia Rees will make her acting debut as Princess Elizabeth.
It was earlier announced that Michelle Williams would play Katherine Parr, but the American actress was replaced by Vikander in late March.
Aïnouz was born in Brazil of a Brazilian mother and Algerian father. His recent project include Invisible Life, which won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes in 2019 and documentary Central Airport THF, about Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, which won the Amnesty International award at the Berlinale in 2018. His latest film Mariner Of The Mountains premiered in Cannes 2021 and MIME got to interview him.
The film marks the English-language debut of Aïnouz and is produced by Gabrielle Tana (The Dig) of Brouhaha Entertainment and written by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth (Killing Eve).
Further creatives involved in Firebrand include Academy award-winning hair and make up designer Jenny Shircore (Elizabeth), Academy award-winning costume designer Michael O’Connor (The Duchess) and BAFTA award-winning production designer Helen Scott (Small Axe). Following her collaboration with Aïnouz on Invisible Life, the director of photography will be Hélène Louvart. The casting director on the project is Nina Gold (The Power of The Dog).
The film is executive produced by Maria Logan of MBK Productions Ltd and Anne Sheehan. The producers are Gabrielle Tana, who has worked closely with English actor Ralph Fiennes on his directorial projects like Coriolanus and The White Crow, and Carolyn Marks Blackwood.
FilmNation Entertainment handled international sales. STXfilms will distribute the film in the UK, France and Benelux. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions will distribute in Germany, Greece, Iceland, Middle East, Scandinavia, Turkey, all of Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Other territories sold include Switzerland (Elite Film AG), Israel (Lev Cinemas) and Spain, Italy and LATAM (Vertice Cine).