From Shakespeare to Game of Thrones, the British royalty as always served as keen inspiration for high drama. One of the most fascinating and storied rivalries from the monarchy was that between Mary Stuart, the young queen of Scotland, and Queen Elizabeth I, who came to blows over religion and, of course, the throne. With Mary, Queen of Scots, their story is getting an update from theater director Josie Rourke, making her feature film debut. Based on the biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots and scripted by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, the film follows Mary’s claim to the throne and the fallout of her threat to Elizabeth’s reign.
“They were both, in their own ways, making huge sacrifices to try to operate in this male-dominated world,” Rourke told EW. “It’s not one against the other. It’s both of them against a particular environment that pitted them against each other.”
“Everyone manipulated their relationship,” Robbie echoes. “It’s complicated, it’s tragic, and it’s bizarre. The only other person in the world who could understand the position they were in was each other.”
We already got a first look at Saoirse Ronan in the title role, and now EW has a pair of new images, including the reveal of Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth. The movie arrives in theaters Nov. 2, 2018.
Here’s the official synopsis for Mary, Queen of Scots:
Mary, Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1. Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.