EXCLUSIVE: House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy has dropped out of feature thriller Anna about fearless Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya due to a scheduling clash, replaced by Naomi Battrick (The Postcard Killings).
D’Arcy, who broke out as the older Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, was due to play Politkovskaya’s daughter Vera Politkovskaya in the Cannes Market package which stars two-time BAFTA nominee Maxine Peake (Black Mirror) as lead and is directed by Broadchurch’s James Strong from a screenplay by Eric Poppen.
Deadline understands Battrick replaced D’Arcy several weeks ago in the film that was previously titled Mother Russia, with D’Arcy dropping out due to a scheduling clash. Battrick’s past credits include Danis Tanovic’s Cush Jumbo-starring thriller The Postcard Killings, in which she played Marina Haysmith. She also led Sky’s Jamestown and featured in BBC drama A Very English Scandal.
Starring Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Jason Isaacs, Harry Lawtey (Industry) and Ellie Bamber (Willow), Anna tells the story of the world renowned journalist and human rights activist who went from being a local print journalist to braving the Chechen killing fields and exposing Russian state corruption under Vladimir Putin. She refused to give up reporting on the war in Chechnya despite numerous acts of intimidation and violence and was ultimately murdered in the elevator of her block of flats.
Isaacs is playing Politkovskaya’s husband Sacha, Hinds is Nobel Prize-winning newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov, Bamber is intern/protégé Elena and Lawtey plays Anna’s son Ilya.
Principal photography started a few weeks ago in the UK and Latvia. Pic is being produced by Miriam Segal and Paul Brennan of Good Films Collective (The Infiltrator) with Luminosity Entertainment providing financing and overseeing worldwide distribution.
Battrick is repped by Curtis Brown and Magnolia Entertainment.