Saoirse Ronan is set to star in The Outrun, the new film from The Unforgivable director Nora Fingscheidt.
Ronan, a four-time Oscar nominee, will play Rona, a woman fresh out of rehab who, after more than a decade away, returns to Scotland’s wild Orkney Islands and to the sheep farm of her childhood, in the adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s best-selling memoir of the same name. Fingscheidt and Liptrot have adapted the book for the screen.
Protagonist Pictures will introduce the project to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market next month. Protagonist will handle world sales, co-repping North American sales with CAA Media Finance.
Sarah Brocklehurst’s Brock Media optioned The Outrun and will produce the film alongside Ronan, Jack Lowden and Dominic Norris under their new shingle Arcade Pictures together with Ignacio Salazar-Simpson and Ricardo Marco Budé of Mogambo. Jonas Weydemann and Jakob D. Weydemann of Germany’s Weydemann Bros. will co-produce together with BBC Film and Screen Scotland, which supported the project’s development. Protagonist is executive producing and arranged financing.
Liptrot’s memoir, a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller, won the 2016 Wainwright Prize and the 2017 PEN Ackerley Prize. The book was translated into 15 languages and has sold more than 110,000 copies in the U.K. alone. Rebecca Watson of VHA negotiated the film deal for the book on behalf of James Macdonald Lockhart of Antony Harwood Ltd.
“It was Amy’s voice that first drew me to The Outrun,” said Ronan in a statement. “Her unusual way of seeing things in a way that perhaps you only can when you’ve been to the darkest place you can go within yourself. I have been waiting to play a part like this — the messiness, hopefulness, dreaminess, authenticity and humor we want to achieve — I’ve been scared of it, but with Nora I feel ready.”
“There are wonderful gifts already in place to make this a powerful and immersive film,” added Fingscheidt. “One is the setting, the vast and cinematic landscapes of the Orkney islands; the other is our main actress, Saoirse Ronan, who brings magic to the screen with her unique mix of charisma and emotional depth.”
Fingscheidt’s debut feature, System Crasher, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2019, winning the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, and sweeping the German Film Awards, winning eight Lolas, including best picture and best director for Fingscheidt. Fingscheidt’s English-language follow-up was Netflix hit The Unforgivable starring Sandra Bullock, a feature adaptation of a U.K. TV series about a woman navigating her freedom after 20 years in prison.
Ronan is represented by CAA and MacFarlane Chard. Fingscheidt is repped by Casarotto Ramsay and Associates, Ilene Feldman Management and Agentur Homebase.