Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (Empire of Light, The Favourite), Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Chlöe Bailey, Tosin Cole (Till, Untitled Bob Marley Project), and Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Cheers) will star in the feature film version of Girl From the North Country, based on the Tony-nominated musical that was inspired by and features the songs of Bob Dylan.
Conor McPherson, who penned the libretto and directed the Broadway musical, will also write the screenplay and direct the film for Blueprint Pictures’ Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin. CAA Media Finance will represent the film’s domestic sales with Rocket Science launching international sales.
Girl From the North Country is set in 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota, during the Great Depression as things are spiraling out of control for proprietor Nick Laine (Harrelson), whose wife Elizabeth (Colman) is suffering from dementia and the bank is foreclosing on their home. Their adopted daughter, Marianne (Bailey), has a closely guarded secret that no one can explain, but when escaped convict Joe Scott (Cole) seeks shelter at the guesthouse, a relationship develops between Marianne and Joe that will change everything for everyone forever.
“Having Bob Dylan’s trust to create a story using his incomparable songs is a huge privilege which has brought nothing but joy to my world,” says McPherson. “But working with this incredible cast to bring these characters to life is almost beyond imagining. I’m also especially thrilled to be working with Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, and the whole Blueprint team who have given cinema audiences some of the greatest movies of recent times.”
McPherson and Dylan's Girl From the North Country, which reopened at Broadway's Belasco Theatre April 29, 2022, ended its extended limited engagement June 19, 2022. (Originally scheduled for 50 performances through June 11, the Tony-nominated musical added an additional week to its run.)
Girl From the North Country received seven 2022 Tony nominations, including Best New Musical, Best Book of a Musical (McPherson), Best Orchestrations (Simon Hale), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Simon Baker), Best Direction of a Musical (McPherson), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Mare Winningham), and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Jeannette Bayardelle). Hale won the Tony for his orchestrations.
READ: Broadway's Girl From the North Country Filmed Prior to April Reopening
Girl From the North Country originally opened March 5, 2020, but closed just a week later due to New York’s COVID restrictions. The production reopened October 13, 2021, subsequently closing its initial Broadway run January 23, 2022.
The original run was professionally filmed for commercial release, though details have not yet surfaced on when that can be expected.
READ: Do You Need to Know Bob Dylan Music to Love Girl From the North Country?
Girl From the North Country also featured scenic and costume design by Rae Smith; orchestrations, arrangements, and music supervision by Simon Hale, with additional arrangements by Hale and McPherson; lighting design by Mark Henderson; sound design by Simon Baker; movement direction by Lucy Hind; and music direction by Marco Paguia.
The musical, which originated at The Old Vic in London, also played in the West End and Toronto, at New York's Public Theater and is currently playing across Australia and embarking upon a U.K. and Ireland tour, opening in Dublin June 25. The musical will launch a national tour in fall 2023 at Hennepin Theatre Trust/Broadway in Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre.