EXCLUSIVE: UK broadcaster joins finance of Jean Doumanian, WestEnd drama.

UK broadcaster Film4 has boarded finance on director Benedict Andrews’ anticipated drama Blackbird, which is set to star Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Carol) and Ben Mendelsohn (Starred Up, Animal Kingdom).

The script is adapted by playwright David Harrower from his celebrated and controversial Olivier Award-winning play of the same name, and will mark the feature directorial debut of acclaimed theatre director Benedict Andrews.

Currently in pre-production, the film will see Mendelsohn play Ray, a mid-level manager in his early 50s, who is confronted by angry 20-something Una (Mara). The two had a passionate affair 15 years earlier when Una was barely a teenager, for which Ray was arrested and imprisoned.

Like a wrecking ball from his past, Una’s unexpected arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new identity.

WestEnd Films is handling international sales and will co-produce alongside August: Osage County producer Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly.

UK broadcaster Film4, which continues to invest in fresh talent and risqué material as well as exciting established names, heads to the Cannes Film Festival with four of its titles in competition: Carol; Macbeth; The Lobster; and Youth.

Anticipated Film4-backed films likely to debut later in the year include women’s suffrage drama Sufragette, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and Michael Fassbender-Brendan Gleeson crime-drama Trespass Against Us.

Projects currently in production include Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Wheatley’s next film, Free Fire.

Upcoming shorts backed by the broadcaster include Lucy Kirkwood’s The Briny and Sean Buckley’s Polar Bear.