James Howson Is Heathcliff

For director Andrea Arnold

James Howson Is Heathcliff

by James White |
Published on

Laurence Olivier. Ralph Fiennes. Timothy Dalton. To this list we can now add the near-totally unknown name James Howson since, according to the Daily Mail (via The Playlist), the young actor has been picked by director Andrea Arnold to play Heathcliff in her new take on Wuthering Heights.

Arnold has already been filming portions of the adaptation in North Yorkshire and has successfully kept the identity of her chosen Heathcliff under wraps until now. Which, we suppose, isn’t too tough when no one knows who he is.

All the Mail could dig up was the fact that he’s in his early ‘20s, hails from Leeds and was found after Arnold and the casting team set out on a long search for unknown performers. Most of the cast is either a new face or someone with little recognition factor – with Skins’ Kaya Scodelario playing doomed love Cathy.

In Emily Bronte’s novel, Heathcliff is described as a “dark-skinned gypsy in aspect and a little lascar,” which means that Howson is actually closer to the image that the writer had in her mind when she was conjuring up the characters.

While there has been no official announcement of his casting – expect that to happen soon now that word has leaked – the Mail did get a quote from Howson about working on the movie. “The filming went really well. Yeah, I’m from Leeds. I don’t really know if I’m supposed to be doing this…” He’s probably right, but we doubt he’ll get more than a stern talking-to about not blabbing anything to the press. And though the filmmakers are said to be going back to basics with the story, it’s not like he could really drop that many huge spoilers – the book has been out since 1847, after all.

Wuthering Heights doesn’t yet have a set release date, but should be out next year.

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