Shortly after their acclaimed, Oscar-nominated turns in Maggie Gyllenhaalthe exceptional directorial debut, The lost girl, Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley will meet for Naughty little letters, an upcoming comedy based on a true story of two very different neighbors who come together to solve a mystery. Prepared to be led by Thea Sharrock (me before you), from a screenplay written by actor-screenwriter jonny sweet (Whole), Naughty little letters quickly became a fixture when it appeared on the walking sticks market earlier this week, and it’s currently scheduled to start production in the UK in the fall.
As Deadline reported, Naughty little letters will see Buckley play the role of Rose Gooding, a fiery and brash personality who has little in common with her religious neighbor, Edith Swan (Colman), other than living in the same quiet part of town. Set in the seaside country of Littlehampton in the 1920s, Edith, along with a few other townspeople, receives a series of obscene and erratic letters written in foul language, and suspicion soon falls on Rose. Who else would feel the need to resort to such crude, childish and drastic measures? But as the letters continue to cause consternation in the town and Rose finds her freedom and custody of her daughter threatened, police officer Gladys Moss suspects things are not quite right.
Alongside a team of resourceful women, Gladys sets out to solve the mystery, clear Rose’s name and find out who is actually writing these deranged messages. Intended to be produced and developed by Studiocanalwith the producers Graham Broadbent and Pierre Czerninthe Oscar-nominated team that brought together Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, it’s easy to see how these filmmakers will set about crafting another beefed-up yet weighty comedy-drama with erratic personalities, surly demeanors, and crummy mischief. Blending small-town misdeeds with a larger, humanistic narrative of opposing forces colliding heads, then banding together in hopes of justice and redemption, Naughty little letters could easily be another awards season favorite, if it goes well, especially with the esteemed creative team attached to the bill. But we will have to wait for it to meet before continuing this discussion.
At the moment, it is not known who should play the role of Gladys. But it’s assumed the starring role will be filled in due course – especially as production is set to begin in a few months. When that happens, we’ll be sure to let you know.
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Here’s what Sharrock said about his upcoming movie:
Naughty little letters is a divine comedy with a deep moving core. Hilarious, witty, joyous and based on a true story as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Watching this movie will be like hitting your funny bone; when tears of pain and laughter are impossible to separate. Olivia Colman is hilarious, brilliant and brave. As Edith, she will continue to show off her acting dexterity with her unique ability to make us fall in love with her. In Jessie Buckley, we chose the actress that everyone wants to see; her ferociously strong energy will blow the character of Rose on our screens. After The Lost Daughter, our film brings together two of the most exciting, accessible, fun and wild actresses in the world.
Also, it should be noted that in addition to starring in the film, Colman is expected to produce Naughty little letters next to Ed Sinclair and their team, South of the river. In their statement, they were quick to point out the “modern sensibility” bubbling “beneath the recognizable and highly cinematic surface of post-World War I England, which ultimately packs a satisfying dramatic punch and relevant”. Additionally, Broadbent and Czernin noted in their own respective statement that they were excited to make a new film “full of unique and unforgettable characters who capture all of the petty rivalries, prejudices and divisions of small town life.” , while also celebrating “the risks taken by women who have dared to challenge the status quo”. Certainly, it would seem that the producers, actors, writers, and directors attached to this project are hoping to do something as meaningful as it is moodily hilarious. It is hoped that they will find that balance and tell the timely and socially conscious story that they want to tell.
Naughty little letters should be out next year. Probably in the fall, around awards season, after a film festival. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments as they come in.
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