I didn’t anticipate and absolutely did not hope my interview with Terence Davies, published three weeks ago, would wind up being his final. With the shock of his passing I was immediately compelled to revisit that conversation, so inspiring and edifying for how Davies carried himself after a years-long effort (The Post Office Girl) was declared dead: he’d already gone two drafts into a new feature that would perhaps take him to Jamaica.

James Dowling, who is part of Davies’ management team, kindly informed me his next film, Firefly, would’ve adapted Janette Jenkins’ novel concerning Noël Coward’s final five days “at his hide-away home in Jamaica.” In an official Instagram post it’s deemed “one of Terence’s most personal scripts,” in characteristic fashion tying Coward’s dreams, memories, “pleasures and struggles of being gay, the value of artistic endeavour, and his own impending mortality.” Brief Encounter, the play Private Lives, songs (including “Mad About the Boy”), and Coward’s home movies figured into Davies’ script. A natural follow-up to Benediction and A Quiet Passion, one might say.

Dowling was careful to tell me this shouldn’t be considered a “final” film; Davies was “working on a number of film ideas which could still be brought to the screen.” It’s also said Firefly is––present-tense––being produced by EMU Films (who supported Benediction) and developed with Curzon Films, suggesting it might manifest under different guidance. It goes without saying nobody has ever approached cinema exactly like Terence Davies, and whoever might take it on has their work cut out. Just as it’s evident we wish the Davies estate all best in making something happen.

No more articles