Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, two of England and Ireland’s most celebrated actresses, will play opposite each other in “Ammonite,” a period romance written by “God’s Own Country” writer/director Francis Lee. The project marks the first screen collaboration between Ronan and Winslet.
Per Deadline, the film is “set in a UK coastal town in the 1820s [and] follows an unlikely romance between palaeontologist Mary Anning and a London woman of means to whom she must unexpectedly play nursemaid.” The article did not say which actress would play which role.
Lee’s feature film debut, “God’s Own Country,” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year, where it won the World Cinema Directing Award. It went on to become a critical and box office hit. The tender gay romance about a farmhand and a migrant worker also earned a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding British Film and a spot in the top twenty of Britain’s highest-grossing indie films of the year. Lee, who wrote and directed the film, also won Best Debut Screenwriter by the British Independent Film Awards.
“Ammonite” is being produced by “The King’s Speech” producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman along with “Lady MacBeth” producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly. Canning and Sherman’s See-Saw Films developed the project with the BFI and BBC Films.
The Oscar-winning Winslet recently wrapped production on James Cameron’s “Avatar 2,” and is currently filming Roger Michell’s drama “Blackbird.” Three-time Oscar nominee Ronan can currently be seen on the big screen in “Mary Queen of Scots” — in the titular role — and recently finished shooting next year’s hotly anticipated “Little Women,” reuniting her with “Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig, in which she plays headstrong tomboy Jo March.
Production on “Ammonite” is set to begin in March.