Yorgos Lanthimos has completed shooting his juicy period drama “The Favourite,” starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, Academy Award winner Emma Stone, and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman (“The Lobster”). New plot details for the period drama reveal that Weisz and Stone’s characters vie for power and influence in Queen Anne’s court by any means necessary — including seduction.
Described as a “bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy, and betrayal,” the film is set in 18th century England during the court of Queen Anne (Colman). Weisz plays Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough and confidante, advisor, and secret lover to the Queen. The power shifts when the Duchess’s younger cousin (Stone) arrives to court, and the two women battle for influence and the Queen’s affections.
The tawdry period piece represents a shift for Lanthimos; the Greek director is beloved for 2016’s dystopian satire “The Lobster,” which won the Grand Jury prize at Cannes in 2015. Lanthimos returns to the festival this year with “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” about a surgeon who develops a dangerous bond with a disturbed teenage boy.
Fox Searchlight, Film4, and Waypoint Entertainment partnered for the production, and Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film. The screenplay is by Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis. The cast includes Nicholas Hoult (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”), and Joe Alwyn (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”).