It’s difficult to believe that it’s been less than three years since Daisy Edgar-Jones sauntered onto screens as the elusive loner Marianne in the BBC/Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. Her delicate, meticulously detailed performance earned her both a Golden Globe and a BAFTA TV Award nomination, and a spate of enviable parts: Noa, the resilient heroine of Mimi Cave’s stomach-turning horror Fresh; Brenda, the mother at the heart of Dustin Lance Black’s Under the Banner of Heaven; and Kya, the beguiling lead of Olivia Newman’s Where the Crawdads Sing. But her next role could be even bigger: on December 15, Variety broke the news that the rising star is poised to play the musical superstar Carole King.
The project, spearheaded by Sony Pictures and with Tom Hanks among its producers, is not a straightforward biopic, but a big-screen adaptation of the stage musical Beautiful, which charts the four-time Grammy winner’s early struggles and stratospheric success in the turbulent ’60s and ’70s. The synopsis for the original show reads: “Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.” And the songs featured in the show, which are likely to show up in the film, too? Everything from “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got a Friend” to “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It Might as Well Rain Until September.”
The good news doesn’t end there: Behind the camera on the upcoming release is Lisa Cholodenko, who has also penned the screenplay alongside Stuart Blumberg (they previously collaborated on the Oscar-nominated script for The Kids Are All Right). Oh, and if you’re harbouring any doubts about Edgar-Jones’s singing abilities, you can rest assured that she’s got it covered. After all, the actor did her own singing in Under the Banner of Heaven, and she’s even got Carole King’s seal of approval. Of the casting, the 80-year-old told Variety, “Daisy has a spirit and energy that I recognized as myself when I was younger. She’s a tremendous talent and I know she’s going to give a great performance.” Let’s hope the pair get to spend some quality time together before production begins.