Back in February, it looked like director Terence Davies was going to follow up his 2011 effort “The Deep Blue Sea” with his long-gestating passion project, “Sunset Song,” based on the Scottish novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Well, maybe it will or maybe it won’t, but Davies has another project fighting for pole position in his schedule: the Emily Dickinson biopic “A Quiet Passion.”
THR reports from Toronto that Davies has cast “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon in the lead role of the 19th Century poet Emily Dickinson, whose work was mostly ignored until after her death, at which point she became one of America’s most beloved poets. There may be some out there that aren’t surprised by the pairing of Davies and Nixon, but the rest of us were unaware that Davies apparently identified himself as a Miranda.
“I wrote the screenplay with Cynthia in mind,” Davies said of the project. “It was the kind of dream casting you hope for. I never, for a moment, imagined my wishes would materialize. Cynthia has such a strong feeling for the work — and now she is our Emily Dickinson. I’m over the moon.”
So is Nixon, who said about the project: “When I read what Terence had written, I was consumed by the character he had so beautifully put on the page. Emily Dickinson’s words and Terence’s somehow dovetail to create a heady elixir. When I put the script down, I knew it was a story that I simply have to be part of.” To Nixon’s credit, she seems to have deliberately sought out credible projects in between “Sex and the City” movies, filling her CV with indie projects like “Lymelife” and “An Englishman in New York” and the Showtime series “The Big C.” The role of Emily Dickinson could put Nixon out of the shadow of “Sex and the City,” particularly under Davies’ direction.
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As for “Sunset Song,” producers Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter, who are also helping to produce “A Quiet Passion,” were also in Toronto to secure financing for that project as well, so it looks like Davies, for once, is going to be quite prolific for the next few years.