TORONTO — Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins will be on Canada’s east coast later this year to star in a feature film about Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis.
Maudie will be directed by Ireland’s Aisling Walsh in Newfoundland, which is standing in for Nova Scotia in the ’50s and ’60s.
The project has been in development for several years, with actors Sean Bean and Rachel McAdams and director Jean-François Pouliot at one time reportedly attached.
Hawke, 44, will play Everett Lewis and Hawkins, 39, will play Maud Lewis in the film, which tells the story of how they fell in love and how Maud — crippled by rheumatoid arthritis — became a successful artist.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to play such an extraordinary and inspiring artist,” Hawkins said in a statement. “It is a beautiful script.”
Maudie was written by Sherry White (Rookie Blue).
Hawke, who has a summer home on a private island in Tracadie, N.S., made the 2005 movie Assault on Precinct 13 and the upcoming Regression in Toronto and the 2004 thriller Taking Lives in Montreal. He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in last year’s Boyhood.
Hawkins was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in Blue Jasmine and has starred in films like Paddington and the 2014 Vancouver-shot Godzilla.
Lewis, who died in 1970 at 67, remains one of Canada’s best known folk artists. Several documentary films have been made about her and she is the subject of a book, The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis, and the stage play A Happy Heart: The Maud Lewis Story.