Paul Mescal and Jessie Buckley board Chloé Zhao’s Hamnet adaptation

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Paul Mescal and Jessie Buckley are teaming up with Chloé Zhao for Hamnet. More on that project below. 


In November, we reported that Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao is getting ready to shoot her new film Hamnet in April 2024. We had no details of the film’s cast back then, but we do now and boy, it’s going to be a doozy. 

The Guardian reports that Paul Mescal and Jessie Buckley have both signed on for the project. Mescal, currently starring in the outstanding All Of Us Strangers, will play a young William Shakespeare while Buckley will play Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway. 

Hamnet is based on Maggie O’Farrell’s book of the same name and the fictional story explores Shapespeare and his wife coming to terms with the loss of their 11-year-old son Hamnet to the plague. 

Speaking to Vogue, Mescal described the novel as “devastating”, adding that he “can’t wait” to shoot the film. 

Mescal previously appeared in The Lost Daughter with Buckley and Olivia Colman, but Mescal and Buckley didn’t share any scenes together. Buckley and Colman are also appearing together in Wicked Little Letters, which is out in the UK in February. 

Mescal described Buckley as “one of our present-day greats” and said he “can’t wait to get in the weeds” with Zhao. 

Both Mescal and Buckley are some of the most in-demand names in the UK film industry as well as over the pond in Hollywood. Mescal has just wrapped shooting on Ridley Scott’s upcoming Gladiator sequel while Buckley appeared against Riz Ahmed in Christos Nikou’s ambitious science fiction romance Fingernails

Chiara Atik is on writing duties for Hamnet. O’Farrell’s book, released in 2020, has also been adapted to a stage play, which premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2023 and is currently playing in London’s West End. 

No news on a potential release date yet, but if we’re lucky, we might see this one in 2025. We’ll keep you posted on that. 

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