The Iron Lady writer is scripting story of the suffragettes for Ruby and Focus; BBC drama Birdsong to shoot in Hungary in summer

In-demand film and TV writer Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame, Brick Lane) is now writing a feature about a group of militant suffragettes fighting for women’s rights at the turn of the century for Ruby Films and Focus Features International; Film4 has led the development.

Sarah Gavron, who collaborated with Morgan on 2007 film Brick Lane, is attached to direct.

Morgan, currently working on a second draft, described the film as “big, bold and fast-paced.” While it is yet to be cast, the writer was excited about the film’s scope and potential for strong female performances: “It’s exciting because the characters range from 17-year-old girls to 60-year old women. Part of the buzz for me with this script is having a great ensemble cast of great actresses.”

Morgan was speaking to Screen at MIPTV where her new TV drama The Hour, produced by Kudos Productions and commissioned by BBC 2, and starring Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw, is one of the market’s hottest dramas.

Morgan also confirmed that her BBC-backed adaptation of the popular Sebastian Faulks novel Birdsong, which originally set out as a Working Title feature, is likely to shoot this summer in Hungary. The two-part 90-minute drama is currently out to casting.

Morgan recently adapted Working Title’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid, to be directed by Joe Wright.

Her script for Shame was recently shot in New York by director Steve McQueen (Hunger), who co-wrote with Morgan, for King’s Speech producer Iain Canning of See-Saw (Film4 is also on board). Michael Fassbender stars in the story of a man who leads a sexually charged life in New York City, and Carey Mulligan plays his sister.