Bleecker Street has bought the U.S. rights for writer-director Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut, “Emily,” which tells the story of author Emily Brontë’s real-life romance in the lead up to her seminal novel, “Wuthering Heights.”

Bleecker Street is planning a 2023 theatrical release Stateside, while Warner Bros. will open the film wide in U.K. cinemas.

Promotional materials for the project describe “Emily” as imagining “the transformative, exhilarating and uplifting journey to womanhood of one of the world’s most famous, enigmatic and passionate writers.”

BAFTA nominee Emma Mackey (“Sex Education,” “Barbie”) leads a cast of young British talent, including Fionn Whitehead (“Dunkirk,” “The Duke”), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (“The Invisible Man”), Alexandra Dowling (“The Musketeers”) and Amelia Gething (“The Spanish Princess”) as well as BAFTA nominee Gemma Jones (“Ammonite”) and Adrian Dunbar (“Line of Duty”).

The acquisition was negotiated by Bleecker Street’s head of acquisitions, Kent Sanderson, with Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street alongside Embankment, who serve as executive producers and are handling global sales.

“Emily” is produced by Piers Tempest (Military Wives, Ordinary Love, The Wife), David Barron (the Harry Potter franchise, Cinderella, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and with Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia (The Dry, Paper Planes).

Peter Touche is an executive producer for Ingenious who provided funding.

Touche said: “At Ingenious we have made a deliberate push to bring more female driven films to audiences. We are delighted that Bleecker Street shares this vision as they are the U.S. distributor of many of them, including: ‘Military Wives,’ Mona Fastvold’s ‘The World to Come,’ Emma Holly Jones’ upcoming release ‘Mr. Malcolm’s List,’ Catherine Hardwicke’s ‘Mafia Mamma,’ which is currently in production, and now Frances O’Connor’s breath-taking directorial debut ‘Emily.’”

Mackey and Whitehead are represented by Curtis Brown Group and CAA; Jackson-Cohen is repped by Hamilton Hodell and Management 360; Dowling by Curtis Brown Group and MGMT Entertainment; Gething by Curtis Brown Group; Jones by Conway van Gelder Grant and Insight; and Dunbar by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and The Dench Arnold Agency.

Bleecker Street has been active on the acquisitions front, recently buying “Mafia Mamma” starring Toni Collette which is in production.

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