Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Play Jamaican Nurse Heroine Mary Seacole
Producer Billy Peterson has formed a new production company, Racing Green Pictures, and announced production on Seacole, his first feature with the banner.
The film will feature South African-British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) and Sam Worthington (Avatar). It centers on a Mary Seacole, a pioneering Jamaican nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War and found herself at odds with Florence Nightingale.
Racing Green Pictures says it is looking to back prestige films, many of which will have strong social messages. Peterson, the producer of the documentary Shenandoah and the dramedy Ping Pong Summer, also founded and led several film-related entities such as Epic Match Media.
Along with Mbatha-Raw and Worthington, the cast includes Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner: 2049) and Sean Delaney (Killing Eve). Charlie Stratton (In Secret) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Dianne Houston (Take the Lead) and Marnie Dickens (Ripper Street). Academy Award nominee Brunson Green (The Help) of Harbinger Pictures will produce alongside Hilary Shor (Children of Men), Peter Bevan and Karl Richards. Seacole will shoot over the next two months in Malta, Romania and London with an eye toward being ready for a festival circuit debut in 2020.
“Mary Seacole was an extraordinary woman, and I’m proud to bring her story to today’s audiences with the hope that they will be inspired by her kindness and tenacity,” Peterson said in a statement. “Seacole perfectly encapsulates the mission of Racing Green Pictures, which is to use first-class filmmaking to tell important stories, and I look forward to both this film and to other exciting projects in the near future.”
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