Saoirse Joins “Blitz”

Saoirse Ronan to Lead Steve McQueen’s World War II Movie ‘Blitz’ for Apple

VARIETY – The film tells the stories of a group of Londoners during the aerial bombing of the British capital during the war.

Saoirse Ronan is set to lead Steve McQueen’s World War II epic “Blitz” for Apple TV+.

First announced back in November, the project tells the stories of a group of Londoners during the aerial bombing of the British capital during the war. McQueen is writing, directing and producing the film, which is expected to begin shooting later this year.

Ronan, who is Irish, stars in the forthcoming films “Foe” and “See How They Run.” Her recent credits include Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” opposite Kate Winslet, and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” in which she starred as Jo March. It’s still unclear what specific role she’ll be playing in “Blitz,” though it will mark the actor’s first project with the British helmer. Ronan will star alongside an “unknown newcomer” that’s yet to be revealed.

McQueen’s production banner Lammas Park is producing alongside Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films, and Arnon Milchan, Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer from New Regency, with independent producer Anita Overland.

“Blitz” marks a reunion for McQueen and New Regency, who previously partnered on Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave” and “Widows.” The new film is based on an original idea from McQueen, and was developed through the director’s multi-year overall deal with New Regency, signed in 2017.

The new movie is McQueen’s latest feature-length narrative effort following “Widows” in 2018.

The helmer in 2020 created the acclaimed anthology series “Small Axe,” which told the stories of the U.K.’s West Indian community over a 20-year period between 1962 and 1982. The anthology was produced for the BBC and Amazon Prime Video, which put the film on a major awards run.

McQueen most recently directed the feature documentary “Occupied City,” about Amsterdam during World War II. New Regency and A24 boarded the project earlier this year.

“Blitz” will almost certainly be an awards season driver for Apple Original Films, which picked up its first best picture Oscar — and became the first streaming service to do so — earlier this year with “CODA.”

The company recently premiered “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, and “Luck,” a new animated feature from Skydance Animation starring Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg. Upcoming features include Peter Farrelly’s “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe; “Raymond & Ray,” starring Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke; “Spirited,” the modern musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story “A Christmas Carol” starring Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer; and “Causeway,” starring and produced by Jennifer Lawrence and directed by Lila Neugebauer.

Ronan is represented by CAA and Relevant.