This post is not sponsored, by the way; we just happened to be on the mailing list for the art, and if anything piques the interest of Fug Nation — especially in a pre-Royals Round-Up Friday time slot — it’s a period piece.

Anyway, there’s a new Mary, Queen of Scots biopic coming out next year, and looking at this photo, I’d almost have guessed Saoirse Ronan had been cast as a young Elizabeth. But she’s the titular character instead — and of course, Mary and Elizabeth were related, and do somewhat favor each other in the old Holbein-style portraits of them both, so I suppose it makes sense that Saoirse could pass for either (even if she’s probably too young to play ERI during this time period, given that she was about a decade older than Mary).

Regardless, Saoirse does slide right into this time period really well, at least visually. Given that the role of Elizabeth been played at various stages of her life by Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, and Helen Mirren, I’m really curious to see shots of Margot Robbie in costume. Because that is one hell of an intimidating Hall of Elizabeths to step into, although I highly doubt she’d mind, and for her sake I hope they all took her out for cocktails. Talk about Drinks With Broads.

The pitch seems to be about the two queens circling each other warily, and the complexities therein; it’s written by a man, but — following on the heels of Wonder Woman being helmed by a woman — it’ll be directed by Josie Rourke, which hopefully will bring a Bechdel-positive perspective to it. Oh, and the rest of the cast includes David Tennant, Brendan “Mr. Bates” Coyle, Guy Pearce, and — wait for it — rumored Taylor Swift beau Joe Alwyn as Robert Dudley.

Your turn: Thoughts on the casting? Has anyone read My Heart Is My Own, the biography of Mary on which it’s based? Will Joe and Taylor last long enough for her to write a single for the soundtrack?

[Photo: John Mathieson, courtesy of Focus Features]