Monday, September 30, 2013

Jamaica Inn

Jessica Brown Findlay will star as Mary Yellan in a new BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Jamaica Inn, written by Emma Frost.

23 year old Jessica (represented by Troika) made her film debut in the coming-of-age drama Albatross. She played Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey, went on to star in Labyrinth, and has recently wrapped playing Rachel in Lone Sherfig's Posh. Jessica will next be seen playing the lead of Beverly Penn alongside an all-star cast in Winter's Tale for Warner Bros.

In Jamaica Inn she will star alongside Misfits and The Paradise star Matthew McNulty, who will play her love interest Jem Merlyn. They will be join by young cast member Charles Furness (represented by A&J Management) playing Thomas - newcomer Charles will soon be seen in the BBC's The Whale where he plays the lead role of Tom Nickerson.

Made for the channel by Origin Pictures it will be directed by BAFTA-winning director Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife, Five Daughters), who said:

 "I love Jamaica Inn because it is an exhilarating adventure story set in a wild landscape with brilliant characters, and at its heart is Mary Yellan - a fantastic female heroine.  I am delighted that Jessica Brown Findlay is going to play this bold and opinionated, courageous but naive young woman, whose curiosity and fiery nature get her into big trouble. To have Jessica, along with such talented actors as Sean Harris, Joanne Whalley and Matthew McNulty - it's my dream cast.”

Jamaica Inn synopsis:
Set in 1820 against the forbidding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors, the story follows the journey of young and spirited Mary (Brown Findlay) who is forced to live with her Aunt Patience after the death of her mother. Mary arrives at the isolated Jamaica Inn to discover her Aunt is a shell of the carefree woman she remembers from her childhood, and instead finds a drudge who is firmly under the spell of her domineering husband Joss.
The Inn has no guests - the rooms are locked and kept for storage - but it soon becomes clear that it’s a cover, as Joss is the leader of a smuggling ring, and Jamaica Inn the hub of his ‘free’ trade.
As Mary gets drawn into the dangerous world of smuggling, she finds herself attracted to Jem Merlyn, Joss’s roughly handsome younger brother. But he stands for everything that Mary despises and worse, she fears that he’s involved in Joss’s gang. Mary’s morals and loyalties become deeply conflicted. Who can she trust? Can she even trust herself?
Seeking guidance, Mary visits the parish vicar, Francis Davey, and his sister Hannah. But can they help her to navigate this dangerous new world and do the right thing, or will she lose herself in everybody else’s criminality? When Mary finds herself in peril for her own life, she is tested to the core and she’s forced to find out what she’s really made of. 

The cast also includes Sean Harris (The Borgias, Southcliffe) as Joss Merlyn, Ben Daniels (Wiper’s Times, House Of Cards) as Davey, Joanne Whalley (The Borgias, Gossip Girl) as Aunt Patience and Shirley Henderson (Southcliffe, The Crimson Petal And The White) as Hannah.

Emma Frost, writer, said: “I love Daphne du Maurier’s novels and it’s been a lifelong dream to adapt Jamaica Inn. I hope I have done justice to this wonderful tale of morality, survival and desire. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to adapt it for the screen, and I'm tremendously excited to see how our talented cast and director bring the scripts to life.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, commented: “I'm confident that this exciting young cast will bring this classic story to the screen for a whole new generation of audiences.”

The 3x60 minute drama starts filming this week on location in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

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