Filming is due to begin on the project later this year.
Saoirse Ronan’s next project has been announced and it already has all the makings of being a hit. Set to star in the upcoming adaptation of the alcoholism recovery memoir, The Outrun, Ronan will play the lead role of Rona – a woman recently out of rehab who heads for home in Scotland’s wild Orkney Islands after a decade’s absence.
Written by best-selling author Amy Liptrot, the Goodreads description for the book is as follows:
“When Amy Liptrot returns to Orkney after more than a decade away, she is drawn back to the Outrun on the sheep farm where she grew up. Approaching the land that was once home, memories of her childhood merge with the recent events that have set her on this journey.
“Amy was shaped by the cycle of the seasons, birth and death on the farm, and her father’s mental illness, which were as much a part of her childhood as the wild, carefree existence on Orkney. But as she grew up, she longed to leave this remote life. She moved to London and found herself in a hedonistic cycle. Unable to control her drinking, alcohol gradually took over. Now thirty, she finds herself washed up back home on Orkney, standing unstable at the cliff edge, trying to come to terms with what happened to her in London.
“Spending early mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, the days tracking Orkney’s wildlife – puffins nesting on sea stacks, arctic terns swooping close enough to feel their wings – and nights searching the sky for the Merry Dancers, Amy slowly makes the journey toward recovery from addiction.”
Named The Guardian’s best nonfiction book of the year back in 2016, it “spares no details of degradation and recovery” and gives readers a brave insight into the trials and tribulations that battling alcoholism entails.
Nora Fingscheidt, director of The Unforgivable, has been brought on for the project, working closely with Liptrot to co-write the adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Protagonist Pictures will introduce the project to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market next month while Sarah Brocklehurst will produce the film.
Sharing the big news with fans on social media last month, Liptrot said that they are all “thrilled to have Saoirse Ronan on board and are looking forward to filming later this year”. Echoing the same excitement herself, the Lady Bird and Little Women actress noted that it was Amy’s voice that first drew her to the project. “Her unusual way of seeing things in a way that perhaps you only can when you’ve been to the darkest place you can go within yourself. I have been waiting to play a part like this – the messiness, hopefulness, dreaminess, authenticity and humour we want to achieve – I’ve been scared of it, but with Nora, I feel ready,” she said in a statement.
“There are wonderful gifts already in place to make this a powerful and immersive film,” added Fingscheidt. “One is the setting, the vast and cinematic landscapes of the Orkney islands; the other is our main actress, Saoirse Ronan, who brings magic to the screen with her unique mix of charisma and emotional depth.”
Dolly Alderton also claims that The Outrun is “one of [her] favourite memoirs”, and I’d trust her with my life so that’s the only endorsement I need, to be honest.