Castium Revelio: Wizarding Successes at the European Film Market

Welcome to this month’s edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News! We’re helping combat February blues by continuing on last month’s streak of new films, with new projects featuring Bill Nighy, Harry Melling, David Tennant, and Colin Farrell, as well as a return to an old one for John Cleese. Castium Revelio!

 

 

<em>Harry Potter</em> Cast and Crew

First up, though, we've got a new project from Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort). He's set to write, direct, and star in a contemporary drama called The Beacon. The film is about a Ugandan boy whose peaceful weekend at his girlfriend's family farm is cut short after a sudden act of violent racism at a local concert. The film will start production in Suffolk, England, in the summer.

Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey) is also set to star in a new project. I, Jack Wright is a mystery drama series about a family who falls under scrutiny after a murder and the reading of a will reveal deep feuds. The show is set to begin shooting this month, with deals for distribution already agreed upon for several countries, and even more in the pipeline.

Speaking of distribution deals, Nick Moran's (Scabior) upcoming film Firecracker has been picked up in several countries. Vertical has purchased the rights in the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. The film centers on a group who are stuck together on bonfire night after their attempted heist goes wrong. It's expected to hit theaters early this year.

David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) is also getting involved in the TV series game. The CW has optioned Sherlock & Daughter, a new twist on the well-known British detective, and Thewlis is set to take the titular role. A particularly difficult case puts him in contact with a young girl who believes that Sherlock is her missing father, and the pair has to come together to put the right person behind bars.

Thewlis has also been busy getting involved in the music scene. He's featured on the latest track by Yard Act, a post-punk band from northern England. Check out the video for "When the Laughter Stops," which also stars Thewlis, below.

 

 

There's a new show at ITVX for David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr). Harry Potter and the Cursed Child co-writer Jack Thorne is behind the show, which is called Broken News. It is based on the real phone hacking scandal that took down the Sunday newspaper News of the World and ended in the arrest of over 100 people.

We've got a first-look image of Toby Jones's (voice of Dobby) upcoming show, A Cruel Love: The Ruth Ellis Story for you next. The show follows the real story of the last woman in the UK to receive the death penalty. Check out the image of lead actress Lucy Boynton (The Pale Blue Eye) as Ruth below.

 

Lucy Boynton as Ruth Ellis in "A Cruel Love: The Ruth Ellis Story"

Credit: Des Willie/ITV

 

Jones is also involved in a second biopic, this time a film about actor Richard Burton. It will focus on his school years and the formative relationship between him and one of his teachers, who eventually adopted him. Mr. Burton will begin filming in spring, with the film's release set for early 2025.

Kelly Macdonald (the Grey Lady) and Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle) are teaming up for a Netflix series. Department Q will be based on a series of books of the same name by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen. It follows a group of detectives in a cold case department and focuses on their leader, Carl Morck, and his recovery after a brutal attack. The eight-part series is currently in production in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Our last series for this segment stars Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour). Lazarus is an Amazon Prime psychological mystery-thriller show about a man who gets tangled in cold cases after his father's suicide brings him back to his roots and his sister's murder 25 years ago.

Lazarus isn't Nighy's only new project this month, however. He's also set to star in 500 Miles, an upcoming road movie about a young boy and his brother who travel from England to the Irish west coast to visit their grandfather. The film will be shot in Kerry, Ireland, later this year, with distribution rights going on sale at this month's European Film Market.

Nighy is also involved in a play reading alongside fellow Wizarding World alum Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange). Beside Myself is a biographical play written by famous author Daphne du Maurier, and it follows du Maurier as she starts a conversation with a man while out on a walk. The reading is part of BBC Radio 4's fortnight of special programming in memory of the 20th-century writer and will air on the station at 3:00 p.m. GMT on March 6. 

Speaking of plays, John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) has written a new one. Based on the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers, which he wrote and starred in, the Fawlty Towers play will make its West End debut with previews on May 4. The play adapts three episodes of the show to the stage.

Katie Leung (Cho Chang) also has her eyes set on the West End. She's joined the UK premiere cast of The Comeuppance, a play about a group of friends who get together to discuss the courses of their lives before their high school reunion. The play will run at the Almeida Theatre from April 6 to May 18.

Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) will also return to the stage. She's been announced as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performing a solo show about social anxiety, parenting failures, monogamy, and couples' therapy. The show will run as part of the Assembly Festival between July 31 and August 26.

Next up we've got a first-look image from a new film starring Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley) and Frank Dillane (16-year-old Tom Riddle, Half-Blood Prince). Harvest is about a village that scapegoats three strangers when things start to go wrong. Part of the film has already been shot in Scotland, and the film went on sale at the European Film Market. Have a look at the image below.

 

First look at "Harvest" starring Harry Melling and Frank Dillane.

Credit: The Match Factory

 

Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody) is set to star in an upcoming film too. H Is For Hawk is about a young woman (who will be played by The Crown's Claire Foy) who rediscovers the beauty of life after her father's death by befriending a stubborn hawk. The film is based on Helen MacDonald's memoir of the same name.

There's also a new film starring Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn) on the horizon. Fools is a comedy about the unlikely but true friendship between Queen Mary I and a female jester within the royal court. Shooting is set to begin later this year.

Last up for this segment is a success for Chris Columbus (director, Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets) and his daughter Eleanor Columbus (Susan Bones). They acted as executive producers on Dìdi (弟弟), a coming-of-age film about a young Taiwanese-American. The film performed well at the Sundance Film Festival, winning both the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast. Focus Features recently picked up the film for international distribution.

<em>Fantastic Beasts</em> Cast and Crew

We've got two new films starring Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander) up next, the first of which is A Prayer for the Dying. The international rights for the film – which follows a small community of Scandinavian settlers rebuilding their lives after the American Civil War – were recently acquired by Anton and New Europe Films. The film will be shot in early summer.

His second film, Atropia, was already filmed last July. It follows an aspiring actress who is working on a US military base that simulates Iraqi warzones. The feature film is based on a short film called Shako Mako.

Colin Farrell (Percival Graves) is set to star in an upcoming film alongside Margot Robbie (Barbie). Plot details for A Big Beautiful Journey are under wraps, but we do know it will follow two strangers as they form a life-changing relationship. The film is set to shoot in California in spring.

There is, however, some sad news for fans of Farrell. We told you about his involvement in Love Child when it was first announced, but this month there are reports that he has been replaced by Riverdale's Charles Melton.

Vertical and Roadside Attractions have co-acquired the North American rights to Asphalt City, a new film about a paramedic pairing featuring Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein). The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year under the working title Black Flies but will be released to theaters under its new title on March 29.

There's also a new film in the near future for Carmen Ejogo (Seraphina Piquery). Goodrich is a comedy about a failing art dealer who is thrown into the deep end of fatherhood when his wife leaves him to partake in a rehab program. Distribution rights were recently picked up by Ketchup Entertainment.

There's something different on the cards for Samantha Morton (Mary-Lou Barebone). She's taken another step into the world of music, releasing her first song from her current project Sam Morton. She directed and starred in the music video for the song, which is called "Cry Without End." You can check it out below.

 

 

<em>Cursed Child</em> Cast and Crew

There are several projects featuring Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy) to finish off this month. First up is a nine-part limited series called Say Nothing. It will give an account of the troubles in Northern Ireland, specifically focusing on those who mysteriously disappeared over a 40-year period. It will stream on Hulu in the US, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in most other territories.

Boyle is also set to star in another Disney+ show. Shardlake centers on a lawyer who works for Thomas Cromwell, a well-known figure in King Henry VIII's court. We're yet to have a release date for the show, but we can show you two photos of Boyle in his role as Jack Barak.

 

Anthony Boyle in "Shardlake".

Credit: Disney+

 

Anthony Boyle alongside Arthur Hughes in "Shardlake".

Credit: Disney+

 

While these new projects are steps forward for Boyle, unfortunately, it means some things must come to an end. He has pulled out of his role in Long Day's Journey into Night at the Wyndham's Theatre for personal reasons.

That’s a wrap on this month’s Casting News. Which of these new films and TV shows have caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.

Neave Williamson

I've been a proud Slytherin for as long as I can remember, and love taking inspiration from the Wizarding World for short films.