The script tells the true story of Seretse Khama, a member of the royal family in the country of Bechuanaland, a former English colony and southern African nation that would one day become Botswana, with Khama serving as the country’s first president. But prior to that, Khama sparked international outrage when he married a white woman in 1948. He survived a deposition attempt by his uncle, only to face opposition from South Africa, where interracial marriage was illegal, which forced Great Britain to ban him from his home country in 1951.
“Amma and Rosamund are two of the most exciting talents working in film today,” said Oyelowo, who is also one of the project’s producers. “I’ve worked with both of them before and so my excitement about them joining A United Kingdom stems from a knowledge of just how inspiring they are to work with and how much daring and beauty they will bring to this epic love story.”
You can catch Oyelowo in HBO’s new drama “Nightingale,” which debuts tonight, May 29. He is wrapping on Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” co-starring Lupita Nyong’o, and will film the crime drama “Three Seconds” opposite Luke Evans before moving on to “A United Kingdom.”
Pike, meanwhile, can currently be seen on UK screens in the thriller “Return To Sender.”
Asante’s 2013 acclaimed period drama “Belle” told of an illegitimate mixed-race daughter of an admiral in 18th century England.
Production on “A United Kingdom” will begin in October, so we could well be looking at a strong entry into the festival circuit, and awards season in 2016.
The script comes from Guy Hibbert (“Five Minutes Of Heaven,” “Complicit”), with Pathé International financing.