Saoirse Ronan continues to rack up desirable roles despite still being in her teens, with the news today that she's set to star in Mary Queen Of Scots. This follows her cool hitwoman in Hanna, her Oscar-nominated spin in Atonement, and two of the most high-profile novel adaptations of the last few years, with The Lovely Bones and Stephenie Meyer's upcoming The Host.
Mary Queen Of Scots is of course one of those endlessly re-examined stories: the tragic / hapless Scottish queen lived a life marred by death, high drama and international intrigue. As a baby she was engaged to the heir to the French throne, who she later married - but he died young and she returned to Scotland to be the centre of conspiracies both romantic and political. Cue failed marriages, disastrously bad decisions, possible murders, imprisonment and a serious falling out with her cousin Elizabeth I.
Judging by Ronan's age, we're assuming that this story is more concerned with her early life in France, possibly including her relationship with formidable mother-in-law Catherine de Medici and weak-willed husband Francis II. It could, however, follow her through her marriages to Darnley and Boswell which - spoiler - didn't go so well either.
Samantha Morton played the role in The Golden Age, sporting a Scottish accent which may or may not be accurate (after spending her formative years in France, and with a French mother, Mary probably sounded more like Highlander than a highlander). That came from the same screenwriter, Michael Hirst. Vanessa Redgrave and Katharine Hepburn also played the role further back in film history. So no pressure, then, Saoirse.
There's no director or other cast in place yet, but with Working Title putting this one together, expect some quality names to be added to the line-up before long.
In the meantime, Ronan has The Host coming out next year, as well as Justin And The Knights Of Valour, with Freddie Highmore and Antonio Banderas. She's currently filming How I Live Now and is signed up for World War I drama Testament Of Youth after that.