Noyce to direct Johansson's Mary Queen of Scots
There's news out today about the Mary Queen of Scots film, a film about the Queen of Scotland who rivalled the Queen of England and was executed for trying to overthrow the English crown in 1587.
Now the long talked about film seems to be heading forward, and there's a couple of big names attached. Philip Noyce is directing, and Scarlett Johansson is playing the Queen herself.
Since I'm Scottish, and in fact a Highlander myself, films about Scotland are incredibly dear to my heart, especially considering the country's history. Like many people I'm sure, when a film is made of your own country when there aren't that many made, you do hope that it will be filled with actors from your homeland and done well.
Another good piece of news from the Variety announcement is that it will film in London and Scotland - I really do hope that they film all the Scottish scenes in Scotland and not substitute some other country for it.
The real announcement here is that of Phillip Noyce. He is a strong director, and I'm sure that he'll bring a lot to it, but I can't help just wishing it had been a Scottish director with a real passion for the history. Still, we know it will look superb and be well directed.
Now although we heard the news way back in September of 2006, I'm still not sure about Johansson taking the lead. Before I saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Filmstalker review), I thought that any American playing the role would just mess it up, and then I watched Samantha Morton. She ruled that part, and while Cate Blanchett was the best part of the film (which really wasn't that hard anyway), Morton was in real danger of stealing it from her.
I thought some of the most dramatic moments were with Morton playing the Queen, and her accent was superb, I was sold. I suddenly thought that an American could pull this off, and perhaps we didn't need the local talent.
Scarlett Johansson though. Nothing against her, I think she's a fantastic actress, but I can't help think that with her stunning, classic Hollywood looks, this will be in serious danger of becoming a costume drama and not really capture the heart of the Scottish Queen.
Is this likely to lose the heart of Scotland without Scottish people at the helm? Is that something you think about when films are made of your own country? Does the talent really have to be local, and is that just limiting the options on the film?