Scottish Daily Mail

Queen Mary won’t pay a king’s ransom


THERE’S something about Mary: a new film about the Queen of Scots will be shot in Scotland later this year, with double Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan as the tragic monarch.

The biopic has taken a long and scenic route to the screen: for five years it was a pet project for Scarlett Johansson, then Saorise, pictured, played lady-in-waiting for another four years before getting the green light to play Mary Stuart.

Remarkably, the movies have never had a Queen of Scots played by a Scot. Besides Irish star Saorise, the queen has been played by English Rose Vanessa Redgrave, allAmerica­n Katharine Hepburn and French-born Camille Rutherford.

Still there are roles for Scots available, with a call going out this week in Edinburgh for hundreds of film extras. Just don’t expect to take home a king’s ransom: the film’s budget is $25million, not $250million, as reported elsewhere.

Surprising­ly even Scotland’s film studio lobby group The Associatio­n Of Film Practition­ers failed to recognise that $25million is what it cost to make Elizabeth The Golden Age, with Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I (and English actress Samantha Morton as Mary). $250million buys you blockbuste­rs like Jurassic World or Avengers Assemble, not a period picture with a talented but low-profile cast.

Although I would definitely go and see Mary, Queen of Jurassic World.

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