Emma Mackey Is a Moody Brontë Sister in the First Trailer for ‘Emily’

Here’s everything you need to know about the forthcoming literary biopic.

The headlines:

Who is in the cast of Emily?

Sex Education’s Emma Mackey leads the cast as the titular heroine, while newcomers Alexandra Dowling and Amelia Gething appear as Charlotte and Anne, respectively. Meanwhile, Oliver Jackson-Cohen delivers a breakout performance as Emily’s dashing love interest, William Weightman—more on him below—and Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead takes a turn as her brother Branwell, whom many mistakenly credited with writing Wuthering Heights upon its publication.

When will Emily be released?

Emily is due to hit U.K. theaters on October 14. A U.S. date has not yet been confirmed.

What is the plot of Emily?

Emily imagines what might have inspired Emily’s moody literary output, in a way that’s comparable to Shakespeare in Love—albeit drawing on real historical figures from the Brontës’ parish rather than wholly fictional characters.

Is there a trailer for Emily?

The first trailer for the biopic dropped on August 11; watch it in full below.


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The details:

It’s a less-than-straightforward biopic—but there’s more fact to it than you might assume

Rather than creating a purely historical account, director Frances O’Connor takes the opportunity with Emily to fantasize about what might have led the middle Brontë sister to write Wuthering Heights. Her wild theory? That the reclusive Emily had an affair with Weightman, an assistant curate who worked with her father, Patrick, a rector in the Yorkshire town of Haworth.

While there’s no historical evidence of any romance between Emily and Weightman, the Durham graduate did play a significant role in the life of every member of the Brontë family. Arriving at their parsonage in 1839, Weightman immediately charmed the three sisters—delivering them personalized Valentine’s cards after learning that none of them had ever received one. He would become a dear friend of Emily, whom contemporaries described as incredibly reclusive, even by the Brontës’ standards.

It’s Anne, though, who’s generally believed to have been in love with Weightman—portraying him as the Reverend Weston in her criminally underrated novel, Agnes Grey. He’s also believed to have inspired many of Anne’s poems after his death from cholera at the age of 26. Charlotte, too, fell under Weightman’s spell for a while, before later dismissing him in a letter to her friend Ellen with her usual severity: “For all the tricks, wiles and insincerities of love the gentleman has not his match for 20 miles round.”

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