British rock band The Smiths disbanded nearly 30 years ago, but Honlodge Productions is dipping into the waters of alt-rock nostalgia with the new biopic, Steven. EW can confirm that UK actor Jack Lowden has been cast in the film as the band’s frontman, Morrissey. Deadline first broke the news early Friday.
First-time director Mark Gill will helm the project, which will explore the iconic British rocker’s days prior to founding The Smiths alongside guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr. The Smiths would go on to become one of the defining voices of alternative rock in the 1980s, releasing four albums between 1982 and 1987, all of which went either Gold or Platinum on the UK charts.
Following the dissolution of The Smiths, Morrissey enjoyed a successful solo career, releasing 10 albums between 1988 and 2014, the most successful of which, 2004’s You Are the Quarry, peaked at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart.
Lowden, whom has worked exenstively on stage, previously won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Oswald in the 2013 adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts. He also had a supporting role in the 2016 BBC miniseries War & Peace, in addition to roles opposite Jack O’Connell in the 2014 war drama ’71 and Rachel Weisz in the upcoming Denial.
According to Deadline, principal photography for Steven begins in April, while Entertainment One will distribute the film across the pond. A release date has yet to be confirmed.