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Movies

Saoirse Ronan serves royal realness in first Mary, Queen of Scots image

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John Mathieson

Cheekbones and withering shades of royal blue abound in the first photo of Saoirse Ronan on the set of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Focus Features and Working Title unveiled the inaugural image from The Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke’s feature directorial debut Thursday, shortly after the costume drama entered production on location in England and Scotland.

Ronan — a two-time Oscar nominee by the age of 21 — plays the titular icon in a cinematic portrait of her early life, who became Queen of France at age 16 and a widow by her 18th birthday. Rourke will additionally explore Mary’s relationship with Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), “rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world,” according to a press release. “The two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty,” the synopsis continues.

“We are privileged to be collaborating with our partners at Working Title on this stellar production, and with Josie as she makes the exciting move from stage to screen work,” Focus chairman Peter Kujawski said via statement. “With two of today’s most vital actresses bringing to life two female titans, Mary, Queen of Scots will be one of the movie events of 2018.”

Doctor Who‘s David Tennant and Guy Pearce also have roles, while Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) round out the cast for the project, which was written by Oscar-nominated scribe Beau Willimon (The Ides of March, House of Cards).

Oscar winners working on the film include costume designer Alexandra Byrne, editor Chris Dickens, and make-up and hair designer Jenny Shircore.

An exact release date for Mary, Queen of Scots has yet to be announced. Check out Ronan’s stunning ensemble in the first look image above.