Rising Brit star James D’Arcy has been cast in Madonna’s second directorial effort, “W.E.,” as King Edward VIII.
D’Arcy, who has starred alongside big names like Russell Crowe and Daniel Craig, will take center stage in the multihyphenate’s biopic about the affair between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson that led to the Brit monarch abdicating the throne to marry his lover. www.absolumentmadonna.fr
He joins Andrea Riseborough, Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac in the pic, which Madonna penned with Alek Keshishian, who directed the queen of pop in “Truth or Dare.”
Riseborough, best known for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the BBC drama “The Long Walk to Finchley,” will play the role of Wallis, while Cornish and Isaac will play a contemporary couple in the present day. Cornish plays the role of Wally, a woman in a loveless marriage, who meets Isaac’s Russian character, Evgeni at a Sotheby auction.
Her belief in the great love story of Wallis and Edward provides the backdrop for the tales of both romances.
Former Miramax exec Colin Vaines will produce the pic, which will begin shooting in Britain on July 4, while Kris Thykier, producer of “Kick Ass” and “Harry Brown,” will executive produce.
Vaines said he feels good about the “fresh, young” cast now on board the project.
“We’ve found the right cast for this picture now,” said Vaines. “The addition of James is wonderful as he’s got such charisma and possesses a real regal quality that he can capture. There was a real chemistry between him and Andrea and I feel very good about the cast we’ve got.”
D’Arcy has previously had roles in “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” “Flashbacks of a Fool” and “An American Haunting.” He also stars alongside Sean Bean in the upcoming “Age of Heroes” and recently wrapped “The Flight of the Swan.”