Emma D’Arcy, Harry Lawtey, and Ellie Bamber have joined the cast of the upcoming political thriller Anna. The film will dramatize the life of crusading Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a frequent critic of Vladimir Putin‘s regime.
Deadline reports the three new additions to the cast; D’Arcy will star as Vera, Anna’s daughter, while Lawtey will play Anna’s son Ilya. Bamber will feature as her protege, Elena. They join Maxine Peake, who stars as the titular Anna, Jason Isaacs, who will play her husband Sacha, and Ciarán Hinds, who will portray her editor, Dmitry Muratov. The film will be directed by James Strong.
Politkovskaya was a writer for Novaya Gazeta who made her name covering the Second Chechen War; her exposure of the human rights abuses committed by both sides in that conflict made her a target of the Russian state. She was subjected to death threats, harassment by security forces, and even poisoning before she was murdered in 2006; while five men were convicted of her murder in 2014, the people who hired them to kill her are yet to be brought to justice. Her life has been the subject of several documentaries, including Eric Bergkraut‘s Letter to Anna and Marina Goldovskaya‘s A Bitter Taste of Freedom.
English actor D’Arcy has starred in a number of British productions, including the paranormal comedy series Truth Seekers and the 2020 Keira Knightley film Misbehaviour, before their role in the hit Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, where they play the older version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Fellow Briton Lawtey currently stars on HBO’s Industry as working-class aspiring banker Robert Spearing; he can next be seen in the upcoming Christian Bale thriller The Pale Blue Eye. Bamber has appeared in Nocturnal Animals, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and last year’s true crime thriller series The Serpent; she will star in Disney+’s upcoming Willow series. Strong, who will direct the movie, has helmed episodes of many British TV series, including Doctor Who, Broadchurch, and Vanity Fair, and a number of TV features.
Anna (previously announced under the title Mother Russia) will be produced by Miriam Segal and Paul Brennan of Good Films Collective, in collaboration with K. Jam Media and its principal Kia Jam, and Richard Alan Reid of BuzzFeed Studios. Luminosity Entertainment will provide financing and oversee worldwide distribution. The script will be written by Eric Poppen.
Anna begins filming late this month.
Check out Collider’s interview with Hinds and Jude Hill about Belfast below: