The Night Manager and The King’s Men star Tom Hollander has been cast in a lead role in Bille August’s post-WWII coming-of-age drama Me, You, adapted from the bestselling novel by Erri De Luca.

Daisy Jacob (National Theatre Live: The Hard Problem, Vanity Fair) and Alessandro Gassmann (Transporter 2, The Mongrel) will also star in the film, with principal photography set to take place on the Italian island of Ischia from September.

Set in the 1950s, Me, You follows the story of 16-year-old Marco, who spends his days sailing in the tranquil waters of the bay of Naples with hardened fisherman Nicola, played by Gassmann, who beguiles Marco with his wounded tales of the sea and the war. Shy and curious, Marco sets out to experience all that his enchanting new surroundings, so far removed from his native London and gloomy Scottish boarding school, have to offer. Hollander will play his father Edward, while Jacob will play the enigmatic Caia, who Marco meets and falls in love with.

A beautiful complicity is established between the two when Caia reveals her painful past; a childhood stolen by the SS and a father who threw his daughter out of a train in Yugoslavia to save her from the horrors of a concentration camp. The harrowing stories of Nicola and Caia awaken a ferocious resentment for the SS in Marco and, when he encounters a group of rude German tourists on the island, he decides to avenge Caia’s pain.

Directed by critically acclaimed Oscar, Golden Globe and twice Palme d’Or winning director August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions), with screenplay written by Greg Latter (Goodbye Bafana, Night Train to Lisbon), Me, You is produced by Brilliant Pictures’ Sean O’Kelly (Deep Fear, Iron Sky) and Marc Bikindou (Black Dahlia, Deception) together with Cristaldi Pics’ Mark Hammond (The Traitor, L’Amour Cache, Johnny Was).

Me, You is probably one of the most beautiful stories ever told about innocent love and purity,” said August. “About a British boy falling in love with a young woman in the romantic island of Ischia in post wartime. Two people who share a dramatic past that connects them on a deeper spiritual level. The film is about the very first love that we all remember and never forget, set during a summer holiday in the charming settings of Italy.”

Hollander added: “I am thrilled to work with Bille, the brilliant maker of Pelle the Conqueror and Goodbye Bafana.”

London and Rome based Brilliant Pictures is handling worldwide sales rights for Me, You as part of its official sales slate for Cannes 2022.

Hollander is represented by Anonymous Content in the U.S. and United Agents in the U.K.

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