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Image / Living / Culture

Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal to star as a couple in new sci-fi film


By Holly O'Neill
29th Oct 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal to star as a couple in new sci-fi film

Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal will star as the leading characters in sci-fi thriller Foe.

Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan have been cast to play the leading characters in Foe, based on the 2018 novel by Ian Reid, described as a psychological thriller and horror fiction against a science fiction backdrop. With films like Titane taking the Palme d’Or this year and Reid’s previous script, I’m Thinking of Ending Things starring Jessie Buckley, expect more of the topsy-turvy discomfort from Foe.

Foe will be directed by Australian filmmaker Garth Davis, who co-wrote the script with Iain Reid, the novel’s author. Aaron Pierre, from 2020’s dramatisation of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, will also star. It’s been picked up already by Amazon Prime with an expected release date of late 2022. 

Mescal and Ronan will play Junior and Henrietta, a young married couple in the near future where severe climate change and fires have ruined the landscape. Junior and Henrietta live a solitary life on their farm in North America, until the arrival of Terrance (played by Stanfield), who informs Junior that he has been randomly selected to travel to an experimental space station programme. Henrietta won’t be left alone though; arrangements have been made for her to be constantly watched by familiar company.

“I read Foe and could not put it down. It’s incredibly suspenseful, very moving, and dealt with sci-fi in a most grounded way that spoke to where we are heading as a society, with a lot of the questions we all have explored in a profound way,” Davis told Deadline.

“And the love story just broke my heart, this story of self-determination, fighting for the things that are most precious in our lives, and reminding audiences that this time we have here is precious and the way we treat each other is the way we need to be treating the planet.”

“What I love about Saoirse is,” said Davis, “you see her on-screen and she is just so unfiltered and alive. She represents to me all the things we need to protect in the world. Putting her in the belly of this suspenseful and uneasy story is the whole point. What she represents is precious, she’s an empath. She fights for the things we all should be fighting for. I was looking for an actress who just had those qualities and that beauty.”

“Paul Mescal, he is just a normal guy,” said Davis, “and you believe he’s married to her and that they come from the same part of the world, which they do in reality. I buy them as a rural couple.”

Photography via Instagram.