The rights of upcoming drama UNA, based on David Harrower’s Olivier-winning play Blackbird, have been secured by distributor Swen. The film stars Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, and Riz Ahmed, featuring a script by Harrower, with Benedict Andrews directing. Swen is an established distributor in Latin America and is starting to get involved in distribution Stateside via a deal with Eammon Films and Vision Films.
The story focuses on Una (Mara) and Ray (Mendelsohn) and their troubling past. 15 years before the main events of the story, Una and Ray ran away together, which resulted in Ray being arrested and imprisoned given the age difference. At the onset, Una reappears in Ray’s life, showing up abruptly at his workplace and threatening the stability they’ve both found since.
Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels starred in the Broadway revival of the play last year.
WestEnd Films negotiated the deal for Swen and they are now looking at an early fall release date, which follows the film’s premiere at Telluride last year.
Mendelsohn and Ahmed are both coming off the highly successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The former also appears in the Netflix series Bloodline and is in development on Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and the upcoming World War II drama Darkest Hour from Joe Wright as King George VI. Mendelsohn is repped by CAA and United Management.
Besides Star Wars, Ahmed has been receiving critical acclaim over the past year for his turn in the HBO series The Night Of and he was just seen in Netflix’s The OA. His latest film, City of Tiny Lights, is awaiting release. Ahmed is repped by CAA and Gordon and French.
Mara was most recently seen in Lion and can next be seen in The Discovery, currently at Sundance, and Song to Song, which is set to open South by Southwest in March. She’s repped by WME and Management 360.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.