The Crown Emmy winner Josh O’Connor and Normal People star Paul Mescal have been set to star in The History of Sound, a World War I love story adapted from Ben Shattuck’s Pushcart Prize-winning short story. Oliver Hermanus (Beauty, Moffie) is aboard to direct the pic, which hails from Cop Car producer End Cue. Production is set to begin in summer 2022 in the U.S. and on location in the UK and Italy.
CAA Media Finance is handling U.S. sales and Embankment will rep international at the upcoming American Film Market.
The short story revolved around two young men, Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who, during World War I set out to record the lives, voices and music of their American countrymen. In this snatched, short-lived moment in their young lives, and while discovering the epic sweep of the U.S., both men are deeply changed.
End Cue’s Andrew Kortschak (Cop Car, The Art of Self-Defense) and Lisa Ciuffetti (The Clovehitch Killer, The Art of Self-Defense) are producing with Andrea Roa (It Comes at Night).
“Working with Oliver, Ben, Paul and Josh is an immense privilege,” Kortschak said. “We are all struck by Ben’s beautiful and resonant short story, exploring love, loss and memory. We are beyond excited to adapt this story for the screen with this incredible team.”
O’Connor, repped by CAA and Independent Talent, is coming off Emmy and Golden Globe wins for playing Prince Charles in Netflix’s The Crown. His recent film work includes Mothering Sunday alongside Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, and playing Mr. Knightley in Emma alongside Anya Taylor-Joy. Next up is Frank Berry’s Aisha with Letitia Wright and Lee starring Kate Winslet and Jude Law.
Mescal, who won a BAFTA for the drama series Normal People, most recently starred alongside Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Venice Film Festival pic The Lost Daughter, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Up next is Benjamin Millepied’s adaptation of Carmen and A24’s God’s Creatures, both in post-production. He is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
The South Africa-born Hermanus’ last feature, Moffie, was BAFTA-nominated this year while his 2011 pic Skoonheid won the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. His is now in post on Living, starring Bill Nighy and Aimee Lou Wood, an English-language adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru.
Hermanus is repped by Independent Talent and Shattuck by WME.
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