“The Children Act”: First Ian McEwan Adaptation In a Decade

A decade after the last big-screen adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel, Atonement, several of his works are currently in post-production. The first to premiere will be The Children Act, based on the author’s 2014 novel. The movie’s screenplay was written by McEwan himself and it will be directed by Richard Eyre.

It is story of a High Court judge, played by Emma Thompson, in Great Britain who must decide the fate of a 17-year-old boy sick with leukemia, played by Dunkirk star Fionn Whitehead. This gets even more complicated as the young boy’s religious beliefs prevents him from receiving life-saving blood transfusion. The plot centers on the two’s unique relationship, forged as the judge must come to a decision.

Thompson’s participation in the production was crucial to producer Duncan Kenworthy, who told EW that the movie would not have gone forward without her. “She’s in every scene and is absolutely amazing. I’ve worked with Emma before, so I know just how heart-stoppingly good she is at hiding deep emotion and then suddenly and unexpectedly revealing it.”

Kenworthy’s admiration for Thompson was also shared by Whitehead. To this day, Thompson is still the only person to have won Oscars for both acting (1992’s Howards End) and screenwriting (1995’s Sense and Sensibility).

The Children Act premieres next month at the Toronto International Film Festival. A release date has yet to me announced.