Stuart Murdoch’s long time coming God Help the Girl is on the verge of finally becoming a reality. A small-scale musical romance set in Glasgow, the film is said to fuse FrançoisTruffaut with Bill Forsythe, and knowing to the album of songs that was already released, I can more than believe it. Murdoch was the chief songwriter at Belle & Sebastian, and while this will be his first work as a filmmaker, he’s already displayed strong storytelling instincts in his lyrics.
After some open casting calls, and a Kickstarted campaign to beef up the budget, we heard back in July that Elle Fanning had taken the lead role in the film. She’d be playing Cass, alongside Olly Alexander as James. This left the third lead, Eve, unfilled.
Now, the talent agency of sometime Skins actress Hannah Murray have updated her CV , revealing that she’s now been cast in the role of Cass “alongside Emily Browning and Olly Alexander.”
It seems likely, then, that Fanning has had to withdraw, and almost as likely that it’s down to a clash with Maleficent, the big budget Disney picture in which she’s plain Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty.
Luckily, Murray has a similar look- she’s on the right in the image above. And almost as odd a coincidence, I guess, is that she played a character called Cassie in Skins, too.
For her part, Browning also has Catherine Hardwicke’s Plush in the pipeline, though that’s expected to get rolling a little after God Help the Girl will have wrapped.
Its odd that the role of Cass was said to be an American, while now Eve will be played by the overseas performer – Browning is from Oz. Perhaps Variety‘s initial report had the roles switched; perhaps Cass will now be a Brit, or Eve an Australian; or perhaps none of the female leads will get to do their own accent.
Any which way it falls, Eve is the foremost of the three characters and gets more songs to sing. Browning recorded some songs for the Sucker Punch soundtrack if you want a preview of how she might fare.
It’s definitely a promising cast. I like Browning a great deal, Alexander is building up a strong portfolio and this will be Murray’s chance to step up, nicely.
Production on the film is just about to get into full swing in Glasgow. I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground for more.
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