Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane Join Saoirse Ronan on ‘The Outrun’ Cast, Protagonist Sells Wide (EXCLUSIVE)

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Emmy nominee Paapa Essiedu (“I May Destroy You”) and BAFTA winner Stephen Dillane (“Alex Rider”) have joined Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”) on the cast of “The Outrun.”

The film is the feature adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s bestselling memoir “The Outrun,” adapted by Nora Fingscheidt, the multiple award winning director of “System Crasher.” Fingscheidt has written the adaptation in collaboration with Liptrot.

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Ronan stars as Rona, who fresh out of rehab, returns to the wild Orkney Islands after more than a decade away. As she reconnects with the dramatic landscape where she grew up, memories of her childhood merge with the more recent challenging events that have set her on the path to recovery.

Protagonist Pictures has sold all international territories on the film, which is currently shooting on location in the Orkney Islands. Territories sold include Studiocanal for the U.K., France, Germany and Austria, Cineart for Benelux, and Filmcoopi and Cineworx for Switzerland. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has picked up all other international territories. Protagonist is co-representing North American rights with CAA Media Finance.

“The Outrun” was optioned by Sarah Brocklehurst’s Brock Media, who has developed and is producing with Ronan, Jack Lowden and Dominic Norris of Arcade Pictures with Mogambo’s Ignacio Salazar-Simpson and Ricardo Marco also serving as producers. They are joined by co-producers Jonas Weydemann and Jakob D. Weydemann of Weydemann Bros.

BBC Film and Screen Scotland are funding the production and supported the development of the project. Funders also include FFA medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein Film and Medienstiftung NRW. Claudia Yusef is the executive producer for BBC Film.

Protagonist is arranging the financing, with Luane Gauer, Janina Vilsmaier, George Hamilton and James Pugh executive producing.

Brocklehurst and Norris in a joint statement: “We are so pleased to have the incredibly talented Paapa and Stephen join this project. With our pre-shoot underway, we’re one step closer to bringing this beloved and award-winning story to screens. To have the universal themes of redemption and rebirth so eloquently explored by such talented artists is a dream come true.”

Janina Vilsmaier, head of sales at Protagonist, added: “The fervor with which our international partners leapt at this project is a testament to the immense talent of Nora and Saoirse, and to the appetite for stories of resilience and hope in the global marketplace. With our strong network of distribution partners in place, we’re even more excited to see this powerful project come to life.”

Liptrot’s memoir won the 2016 Wainwright Prize and the 2017 PEN Ackerley Prize. It was translated into 15 languages, selling over 110,000 copies in the U.K. and was added by publisher Canongate to its modern classics list, The Canons.

Rebecca Watson of VHA negotiated the film deal for the book on behalf of James Macdonald Lockhart of Antony Harwood Ltd.

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