As long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, you can count on films and shows using it as subject matter to make their films more topical. But, at least this newest film Together looks to be earnest about it's intentions, setting the narrative in the U.K. from the first days of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 until the present day, focusing on the story of a husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship during lockdown after tragedy strikes with their 10-year-old son, although nothing has been hinted how that will happen in the film. Directed by Steven Daldry (The Crown), who has won both Emmys and BAFTAs alike, the story is written by Dennis Kelly (Utopia) who had this to say on the story:
“Together is about a couple who totally hate each other, but have somehow found a way of existing together by not talking to, thinking about, noticing, communicating with or being in the same room as each other — then lockdown happens. It’s about how humans negotiate their shared experiences when they think they have nothing in common other than staying alive, and it’s about how you can hate what you love and love what you hate."
Piers Wenger, director BBC Drama, and Rose Garnett, director BBC Film, released a joint statement about the project:
“While rooted in the experience of one family, Together tells the story of us all – Dennis has created a script which will powerfully resonate with audiences, at once funny and uncomfortable whilst warm and deeply moving. With Stephen at the helm and James and Sharon on screen, this is gold standard drama which we’re proud to be part of.”
By James and Sharon, Wenger of course means James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan who play the lead duo and to which Kelly remarks are "brilliant in it". McAvoy plays a self-employed man who runs a boutique computing consultancy whose been forced to furlough his staff and take up growing vegetables while Horgan plays a charity worker who is a coordinator for all of Europe at a refugee charity. The first look image of the pair together has been released today. Check it out below:
Today, along with the first image, McAvoy and Horgan both discuss how they got involved with the project. McAvoy had this to say:
“Dennis writes so wittily for these characters and his script had me within the first few pages. When I heard Sharon was involved with Stephen Daldry directing it was a no brainer. It’s a hilarious, heartfelt, entertaining and unconsciously funny exploration of a relationship and a couple facing real tragedy across a year we have all lived through.”
And Horgan added her own aspect:
“I think everyone who got involved in this film had no intention of doing a COVID drama but then we read Dennis’ script and changed our minds. We shot this in ten days so it was a beautifully stressful experience. Working with Dennis again – and Stephen Daldry and James McAvoy, both of whom I’ve admired for years — was a joy. But it also felt like we were making something important. And the fact that it feels like news means that the COVID death toll, the tragedy of so many lives lost unnecessarily, has not been talked about enough”.
Producers Heeley and Friedman also added their own thoughts:
“We feel hugely fortunate that when a story this powerful and timely comes together with talent of this calibre, we can call the BBC and have it on the screen less than six months later. With Dennis’ tender, brutally honest and piercingly funny writing, and Stephen’s visceral directing, James and Sharon have brought this story to life with an astonishing, exhilarating charge which touches on our collective experience of the last very challenging year.”
No official release for the film has been announced. The film is being produced by both Shoebox Films and Sonia Friedman Productions film for BBC Two and BBC Film. Kelly is executive producing alongside Garnett and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. Stay tuned!