“Downton Abbey” director Andy Goddard is helming the film, which he co-wrote with actor Celyn Jones.
Elijah Wood has signed on to star in Set Fire to the Stars, a period movie exploring the relationship between poets John Malcolm Brinnin and Dylan Thomas.
Andy Goddard, best known for helming key episodes of Downton Abbey, co-wrote the script and is directing. Celyn Jones (Jo) co-wrote the script with Goddard and will portray Thomas opposite Wood’s Brinnin.
The movie is set to begin filming at the end of the month and counts Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes), Shirley Henderson (the Harry Potter movies) and Steven Mackintosh (Luther) in its cast.
A.J. Riach is producing while Steve Clark-Hall, who frequently collaborates with Guy Ritchie (the Sherlock Holmes movies and the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E. are among his credits) is exec producing.
Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals has been lined up to compose the score for the movie.
Brinnin was a Canadian-born American poet who was instrumental in bringing Thomas, known as the “doomed poet,” into the U.S. for his famed visits in the early 1950s, leading up to his death in 1953. He had to deal with the drunken Welsh man’s increasingly erratic behavior, even writing about those final years in a 1955 book, Dylan Thomas in America.
The movie will explore the turbulent relationship between Brinnin and his hero, with shooting taking place on location in and around Thomas’ home of Swansea, Wales.
Goddard directed the season-three finale of Abbey, as well as the recent Christmas special, among the show’s episodes. He also helmed episodes of Doctor Who, Torchwood, Dracula and Once Upon a Time. Additionally, he is attached to the Patricia Highsmith feature The Blunderer, being produced by Ted Hope and Killer Films’ Christine Vachon with Sierra/Affinity financing.
Wood, who has been starring in TV’s quirky comedy Wilfred, next will be seen on the big screen in the thriller Grand Piano. The actor has been producing and starring in horror movies via his SpectreVision banner and has his first two productions, Cooties, about a virus that turns school kids into murderers, and vampire movie A Girl Walks Home at Night, premiering at Sundance.
Wood is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Stone Meyer. Goddard is repped by Resolution and United Agents. Jones is repped by Kate Staddon at Curtis Brown Group.