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Saoirse Ronan Is Focus’ ‘Mary Queen of Scots’

Written by on August 9, 2012 

Losing a big Noah role is something of a bummer, but Saoirse Ronan, in all reality, isn’t exactly the sort of actress who gets “one shot,” either. Next up for her, according to Deadline, is Mary Queen of Scots, a historical biography that’s been set up at Focus Features; while Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors) has written the screenplay, no director is currently attached.

The primary subject is Scotland’s 16th century Queen, Mary (it’s all in the title), who was put into the regal position before her first birthday. Following a marriage to the future king of France, she wedded her cousin; he was murdered, so she married the person likely responsible for the killing. Because of what some saw as a faux pas — if marrying your cousin-turned-husband’s killer isn’t too heinous an offense to simply fall under that label — Mary was thrown in prison. Eventually, however, the Scottish lass “fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth 1.” (This is the territory Hirst knows particularly well.) Following accusations of trying to kill Elizabeth, Mary was executed. Roll credits.

That’s certainly Working Title material — look out for that limited engagement run in November — while also, I’d wager, the kind of part Ronan could make something pretty solid from. The only concern I’d raise is age; Mary died at 44, and, talented as the actress is, they’d need to make some drastic moves for her to play the woman until her last days. But, if you want to get an older look-a-like after some point, that’s what you do. The big task is making it work.

Is Mary the right kind of part for Ronan to tackle?

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