Ben Mendelsohn and Kristin Scott Thomas join Darkest Hour

Ben Mendelsohn and Kristin Scott Thomas

by James White |
Published on

As Joe Wright reunites with Atonement studio Working Title for another tale set during wartime, he's been tracking down the cast he needs for Winston Churchill drama Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman is already set to play Churchill and now Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Hurt and Lily James are all joining him.

The film, written by Anthony McCarten, traces the early days of Churchill's time as prime minister, when he faced a tough choice between a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany or standing his ground and fighting in the face of huge opposition. Mendelsohn will be King George VI, with Thomas as the central figure's wife and confidant, Clementine. Hurt is set as Neville Chamberlain, the man Churchill succeeded and James is playing his personal secretary.

Wright should be shooting this autumn and the movie is now set to arrive via Focus Features in the States on November 24 next year, with a UK date via Universal's international arm pencilled in for December 29. “Everyone at Focus is proud to be the longtime home to Joe Wright and our partners at Working Title, and thrilled to once again be working with the gifted Anthony McCarten and the legendary Gary Oldman," Focus boss Peter Kujawski tells Screen International. "Darkest Hour is about a visionary leader who stood firm in the face of tremendous pressure to abandon his unique point of view on the world, so it is fitting that his story will be told by these visionary filmmakers.”

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