Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham has signed up to star in Oranges and Sunshine, the first feature from director Jim Loach and one that tells the story of a strange chapter in British and Australian history: the deportation of thousands of children in UK foster care to Australia.
Watson* will play social worker Margaret Humphreys, who in 1987 blew the whistle on the "Home Children" child migration scheme, which had gone on for well-nigh a century between 1869 and the 1960s, and had moved British foster children to countries around the Commonwealth, in particular Australia, where they could be raised more cheaply. The children with living parents were often told that their parents had died, while the parents were informed that their children had been adopted elsewhere.
Watson will play Humphreys, we're guessing, as the Ron Munro screenplay is based on Humphreys' book, with Wenham and Weaving donning their natural Aussie accents most likely. Director Loach previously handled the high drama of Holby City, Hotel Babylon and Shameless, so the story of thousands of stolen children should be a doddle after that. Filming's set to take place in Adelaide soon.
*Depending on what time you're reading this, you may see that the Variety story is illustrated with a picture of Emily Mortimer not Emily Watson. They do, however, mean Watson. And we're pretty sure it's not Emma Watson either.