May 4, 2016
Daisy Ridley Starring In Shakespeare Film 'Ophelia' Before ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Daisy Ridley will be starring in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet before jumping back into the Star Wars universe for Episode IX.

According to The Wrap, Daisy Ridley will star in the reimagining of the classic play Hamlet titled Ophelia, with Ridley as the title character. This indie project will be accurate to the time period in which it is based yet maintain a more contemporary voice. Ridley will star as Ophelia as the film tells her untold story, along with exploring her tragic relationship with Hamlet and her relationship with Queen Gertrude, her mother. Gertrude will be portrayed by Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts.

The film is being adapted from the award-winning novel written by Lisa Klein, by screenwriter Semi Chellas (who was a writer on Mad Men), and the project will be directed by Claire McCarthy, with Daniel Bobker, Ehren Kruger and Sarah Curtis producing. It looks as if this is the project Ridley chose over the possible Lara Croft role. The young actress had been in talks to star in a reboot of the video game adaption Tomb Raider, which originally starred actress and director Angelina Jolie.

Plenty of fans were excited with the idea of Ridley starring in another big franchise film, and Daisy herself certainly seemed to be interested in the project. But as it turns out, the role of Lara Croft in the new reboot instead went to Ex Machina star and Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander.

"Ophelia is brimming with youth-fueled charisma, exploring the nature of true love and beauty, and I'm so excited to bring this fresh mythic spin to Hamlet from a female perspective," said McCarthy. "This retelling will be experienced through the eyes of Ophelia and has the kind of romance, complexity and suspense that makes this beloved story exciting to younger audiences."

"Sarah, Ehren & I have always treated this film like a jewel, since there's something extra precious in bringing to life a treasured female icon, celebrated for centuries as an alluring figure in the shadows of Shakespeare's most famous work, without ever really having her own story told," Bobker said.
"Whether it's for the legions of fans of romantic tragic characters, or the millions of visitors who annually seek out the classic Millais painting of Ophelia at London's Tate Gallery, Ophelia holds a special place in the heart of the cultural canon—so we couldn't be more thrilled to have the talented female team of Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, and Claire McCarthy set to make a film with our friends at Covert Media that'll finally shed light on a character who's fascinated so many for so long."
Covert Media CEO Paul Hanson had nothing but praise for the projects director, Claire McCarthy. Hanson noted her ability to pull such great performances out of actors in her indie drama The Waiting City, which starred Radha Mitchell, Joel Edgerton, and Samrat Chakrabarti. The film, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, is about a couple traveling India to their adopted baby, and with the added component of an "exotic" location, Hanson feels that McCarthy is the perfect choice for Ophelia.

Daisy Ridley is currently filming Star Wars: Episode VIII which, according to the film's director Rian Johnson, is halfway through production. Ridley is also starring in Kolma, with JJ Abrams producing, as well as a Holocaust drama called The Lost Wife.

Ridley's career seems to be taking off pretty quickly, which is not at all surprising due to the monstrous success of The Force Awakens. Daisy recently won an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance at this year's MTV MA ceremony.

[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]