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Joe Dempsie, George Mackay join BFI-Film4 musical 'Been So Long'

EXCLUSIVE: Michaela Coel leads cast of play adaptation; Film Constellation boards sales.

Joe Dempsie (Game Of Thrones) and former Screen Star of Tomorrow George Mackay (Captain Fantastic) are among a number of young UK talent to sign up for the BFI and Film4’s musical Been So Long, which is now shooting in Camden, London.

Michaela Coel, who won a BAFTA TV award last year for her performance in E4 series Chewing Gum, leads the cast of the film, which has been adapted by Ché Walker from his musical that was staged at London’s Young Vic.

Michaela Coel Arinze Kene

Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene lead the cast of Been So Long

The BFI has developed the project and will co-finance with Film4. Lizzie Francke is executive producing for the BFI and Eva Yates is exec producing for Film4.

Fabien Westerhoff’s Film Constellation has boarded international sales.

Tinge Krishnan (Junkhearts) is directing the project, which Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks will produce under their banner Greenacre Films. Jane Wright and Indira Guha will also exec produce.

The ensemble cast also features Arinzé Kene (also a former Screen Star of Tomorrow), Ronke Adekoluejo, Ashley Thomas, Luke Norris, Rakie Ayola, and Mya Lewis.

The story is a modern day romance set on the streets of Camden, historically one of London’s musical hotbeds. Coel stars as a single mother who, on a rare night on the town, is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger (played by Kene).

Mackay’s previous credits include a breakout performance in Dexter Fletcher’s musical Sunshine On Leith. Aside from HBO series Game Of Thrones, Dempsie’s roles include E4 series Skins and Chanya Button’s Burn Burn Burn.

Director Krishnan commented: “To be part of the team bringing Che and Arthur’s stage musical to the big screen is a truly exciting challenge. The cast and crew we have are by far the best team we could have assembled to do this justice. So much creativity has come from the rehearsal process and we are energised to have the cameras rolling.

Marsh-Edwards and Jenks of Greenacre Films added: “Seeing Been So Long start shooting this week has been a huge highlight for Greenacre Films.

“The time planning with our partners during development and prep has been a rewarding process and led us to a confident start of principal photography. We couldn’t be happier to have the immensely talented Tinge Krishnan directing such an incredible cast and we are looking forward to the rest of the shoot. “

Readers' comments (2)

  • Can't wait to see this!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Great to see this play is being turned into a film. If this is your first publicity about a new release , why are the leading actors not pictured as the headline. Is this lazy writing "young actors join Michaela Coel...". Why wouldn't you put the 2 leads first? One of the "young actors" is actually older than Ms Coel! For a film that 3 of the leads are black characters the lead pictures do it a disservice. No reflection on the actors who are first pictured but more on how you publicise a film with non white leads.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Hi there, thanks for your comment. We lead with Dempsie and Mackay for the headline/lead image because they were new additions to cast. The casting of Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene had already been reported the previous week in the Daily Mail. Thanks!

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