Though she’s best known for intergalactic exploits in a galaxy far, far away, Daisy Ridley currently has her sights set on earthly tragedy, as she will appear alongside Naomi Watts in Ophelia, a cinematic reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Independent distributor Covert Media announced Wednesday the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actress is in final negotiations to share the screen with the two-time Oscar-nominee as Ophelia and Queen Gertrude, respectively. The plot of Hamlet is known around the world, though Ophelia aims to explore the untold story of its titular character’s tragic romance with the iconic prince and his royal mother.
According to a press release, the film is a “pulse-pounding insight into a perilous world of murder and betrayal” that sees Ophelia, in order to guard a dangerous secret, having to choose between her own life and true love as war, lust, and betrayal threaten to divide Elsinore Castle from within. The film will reportedly be set in the 14th century with dialogue spoken in contemporary voice.
In addition to the female-driven cast, Ophelia is set to be directed by Claire McCarthy, who previously helmed the Radha Mitchell-starring romance The Waiting City, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. A female screenwriter, Semi Chellas, is also attached to the project, adapting a screenplay from Lisa Klein’s novel of the same name. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger (The Ring, The Skeleton Key) is producing the project with Daniel Bobker (The Brothers Grimm) and Sarah Curtis (Hysteria).
“Ophelia is brimming with youth-fueled charisma, exploring the nature of true love and beauty, and I’m so excited to bring this fresh mythic spin to Hamlet from a female perspective,” McCarthy said in a statement. “This retelling will be experienced through the eyes of Ophelia and has the kind of romance, complexity and suspense that makes this beloved story exciting to younger audiences.”
Ridley is currently busy learning new Jedi skills as she shoots Star Wars: Episode VIII, while Watts was recently confirmed to star in and executive produce the upcoming 10-episode Netflix thriller Gypsy. Watts teased her newfound connection to the Star Wars actress in an Instagram post Wednesday, posing as “Obi Wan Naomi” alongside her Book of Henry co-star Jacob Tremblay, whom she called “Jake Skywalker.”
While further details, including a release date, have yet to be announced, Covert Media will present the project to prospective buyers at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 11-22 in France.