Bella Ramsey to Play British Terrorist ‘The White Widow’ in ‘Girl Next Door,’ Celsius Launching in Cannes

“The Last of Us” star Bella Ramsey will take on the role of one of the U

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 15:31:34 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 15:31:34

“The Last of Us” star Bella Ramsey will take on the role of one of the U.K.’s most mysterious and infamous modern day figures in “Girl Next Door” from writer/director Bruce Goodison (“Leave to Remain”).

The film —which Celsius Entertainment has acquired world sales rights to and will launch in Cannes —is set to tell the story of Samantha Lewthwaite, who became known as British terrorist ‘The White Widow’ and one of the world’s most wanted women.

As per the plot details, “Girl Next Door” centres onLewthwaite(Ramsey), who fellin love with Islam long before being Muslim was politicised and militarised and became known as ‘The White Widow’. What began as teenage curiosity about an “exotic” and welcoming faith as embodied by her neighbours and best friend, ended withSamantha being consumed by its more radical fringes.We follow Sam in the days following the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005 as she pieces together the inevitable outcome of her husband’s involvement,believing he is with another woman when his fate is clear to us all.Left contemplating her future as a grief- stricken mum of two, we imagine the events that may have led Sam to become an ideological crusader and wonder, how much she really knew about the 7/7 plot.

The film —set to shoot in October 2024 — was BFI backed for development. Kate Cook and Julia Berg produce for Indefinite Films,Andee RyderandSofia Ismail Martinproduce for Misfits Entertainment, supported by executive producer,Nicola Pearceyof Picnik Entertainment. Thierry Wase-Bailey and Henriette Wollmann exec produce for Celsius Entertainment. Casting is by Sam Stevenson (“Afghan Dreamers,” “Leave to Remain,̶ -

1; “Private Peaceful,” “Babel,” “The New World”).

“We are thrilled to come on board, joining the superb talent in front and behind the camera, to bring this powerful story of the infamous ‘White Widow’, when so little is really known about one of the most mysterious and divisive women to come out of the UK in recent memory,” said Celsius’ Wase-Bailey.

“This film is about a young life-affirming idealist with a broken heart. Sam turns her grief into a strength that was then exploited by men for purposes of global terror,” said Goodison. “I just didn’t believe the hype – was Sam really the terrorist mastermind the press and anti-terror police would have us believe, or was there another truth? Her truth.I’ve written an unsettling mystery that asks how it might feel if the person you love and expect to share a life with goes out one day and commits an act of terror that challenges everything you hold dear?”

Goodison said he had access to Lewthwaite’ personal diary and spoke to family members and the “adopted” family that inspired her conversion to Islam, plus security services and journalists.

“The film is unapologetically from Sam’s perspective —anyone playing Sam needs to be fearless,” he added. “Bella Ramsey is the perfect fit. Bella will bring heart, life and complexity to this role.”

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