Emily Blunt is set to star opposite Jamie Dornan in the romantic drama Wild Mountain Thyme, and they’ll be joined by Emmy winner Jon Hamm and Oscar winner Christopher Walken, as well as Irish actress Dearbhla Molloy.
Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley is directing the adaptation of his own Broadway hit Outside Mullingar, and Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. rights to the indie film.
The lyrical Irish romance will find Blunt and Dornan playing star-crossed lovers whose families are caught up in a feud over a patch of land that separates their two farms. Walken will play Dornan’s father, who threatens to bequeath the family farm to his son’s American cousin, played by Hamm. Meanwhile, Molloy will play Blunt’s mother, who strives to unite the two families before it’s too late.
Blunt replaces Holliday Grainger, who was originally set to star. Now, I like Grainger, but Blunt obviously represents a major casting upgrade, given her commercial appeal. Audiences are simply more likely to watch a romance between two stars than a couple where the power dynamic is perhaps a bit unbalanced. All I know is, I can’t wait to hear Walken try his hand at an Irish accent. That alone might just be worth the price of admission.
Wild Mountain Thyme is being produced by Leslie Urdang (Beginners) of Mar-Key Pictures, which also developed the project; Anthony Bregman (Foxcatcher) of Likely Story; Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo (The Call) of Amasia Entertainment, which is also co-financing the film; Martina Niland (Once) of Port Pictures, and Alex Witchel. Executive producers include Andrew Kramer, Jonathan Loughran and Stephen Mallaghan. Production will start Sept. 30 in Ireland.
Blunt recently wrapped Paramount’s spooky sequel to A Quiet Place and she’ll soon be seen opposite Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s Jungle Cruise. It has been a while since she has really played a romantic lead, and I look forward to seeing her burn up the screen with Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme.
Hamm is poised for a major year ahead, as he co-stars in four high-profile films — Scott Z. Burns‘ Sundance drama The Report, Noah Hawley‘s astronaut thriller Lucy in the Sky, Clint Eastwood‘s terrorism drama Richard Jewell (rumored to be ready this year), and next year’s blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick. He’s repped Forward Entertainment and CAA, which also reps Blunt. Walken is repped by ICM Partners.