Harry Styles is set to get steamy with Florence Pugh in Don’t Worry Darling and break hearts as Eros in an upcoming Marvel movie, but before that, we’ll see him donning a 1950s police uniform to take the lead in Michael Grandage’s My Policeman, a moving drama about a young man torn between two lovers. Ahead of the film’s release, here’s everything we know so far.
It’s based on a sensitive, sweeping novel
My Policeman is an adaptation of Bethan Roberts’s 2012 novel of the same name, which centers on Marion (played here by The Crown’s Emma Corrin) and Tom (Styles), a school teacher and policeman, who meet and fall in love on the Brighton coast in the ’50s. Enter Patrick (David Dawson), a curator who has moved to Brighton to recover from the death of a previous lover and soon develops feelings for Tom. The men embark on a passionate affair—in spite of the fact that homosexuality is illegal. For a while, the threesome embraces their lives as a ménage a trois, until jealousy shatters their arrangement. Fast forward to the ’90s, and the frail Patrick reenters the lives of the now-married Marion and Tom, with predictably dramatic consequences.
The book weaves together Marion’s confessional narration with Patrick’s, as both battle their inner demons and the overwhelming desire that keeps leading them back to Tom. The latter also highlights the restrictions placed on gay men at the time and the harsh realities they could be faced with if their private lives became public. In an article published in The Guardian in 2012, Roberts explained that the story was inspired by the life of novelist E.M. Forster, who had been in a long-term relationship with the policeman Bob Buckingham and was friends with his wife, May.
“While living with May, Buckingham pledged his half days off, and other hours during the week, to Forster,” she wrote. “May, although jealous and often difficult, refused to listen when [warned] that Forster was about to break up her marriage. Perhaps she, like Buckingham, stood to gain from what Forster could offer: not only money (he often gave financial gifts), but also entrance into the life of the cultural elite.” When Forster suffered a series of strokes later in life, May cared for him.
The first stills have sent the internet into a tailspin
On 9 June, Amazon released the first two stills from the film. One featured a sun-drenched Styles and Corrin as Tom and Marion, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes while in a pool, while the other showed the pair in a gallery with David Dawson’s Patrick, who appears to be talking them through a piece of art. While the former is joyous, the tension between the trio is apparent in the latter.
The cast is stacked with British talent, both emerging and established
Corrin, Styles, and Dawson play Marion, Tom, and Patrick in the ’50s, before passing the baton to Gina McKee, Linus Roache, and Rupert Everett for the scenes that take place in the ’90s. In June 2021, Deadline reported that Kadiff Kirwan, best known for his roles in Chewing Gum and The Stranger, had also joined the cast. The talent behind the camera is equally impressive: director Michael Grandage is the former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in London and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner was nominated for an Oscar for penning Philadelphia in 1994.
The film could be released sooner than you think
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Amazon has confirmed that My Policeman will land in cinemas on 21 October, before becoming available to stream on Prime Video from 4 November—two dates that position it perfectly for 2023’s awards season.