Great Expectations star Holliday Grainger, recently on screens in Cinderella and The Finest Hours, is attached to star in Animals, which marks Australian director Sophie Hyde’s first film following Sundance and Berlin winner 52 Tuesdays in 2014.
The film is an adaptation of Emma Jane Unsworth’s well-received novel, which was featured by Lena Dunham as one of her favourite books of 2015 on Lenny Letter, and described by Caitlin Moran as “Withnail with girls”. The book also won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.
Emma Jane Unsworth has written the screenplay for the Manchester-set comedy about two female friends whose hedonistic friendship is tested when one gets engaged to an ambitious teetotal pianist.
Producer is Screen Star Of Tomorrow Sarah Brocklehurst, who was BAFTA-nominated for her debut feature Black Pond, through production company Sarah Brocklehurst Productions.
The film has been developed by Creative England through the BFI Net.Work. Production is anticipated to begin this winter in Manchester UK, with further casting underway.
Hyde said: “Animals is such a fierce, hilarious and loving book. It’s so refreshing to see women presented in all their messy glory; as smart, witty and conflicted humans with friendships and desires that are at once funny and provocative because they feel so real.
“I’m delighted to find this kind of material and so thrilled to be collaborating with the compelling Holliday Grainger who I believe will seriously impress with this fearless and fun leading role.”
Brocklehurst commented: “Animals is a furiously funny and filthy story about the choices that young women make: who their allies are, which female ‘role’ they will choose to play, and how they will manage their own bodies and behaviour against social scrutiny.”