In what could be a case of art imitating life, finding the right man for Mary Queen of Scots is proving more difficult than expected. A movie about Mary’s life, starring Scarlett Johansson, has been delayed because producers can’t find a suitable actor to play her third husband, the Earl of Bothwell.
In real life, Mary had problems with men, one in particular, her second husband, Lord Darnely, who burst into her room in the Palace of Holyrood House, threatened her and murdered her secretary, David Riccio.
Among those said to be in the running for the Bothwell role, are Clive Owen, Robert Carlyle and James McAvoy.
Former Rome star Kevin McKidd played a convincing Bothwell in a recent television version of the monarch’s life, but he is unlikely to get the film role.
The delay is now raising doubts that the film will make it into production in time to avoid a strike by members of the Screen Actors Guild at the end of June: “Scarlett is having trouble with who her profile leading man should be,” said a source: “The actors’ strike is also going to be significant. It could be after the summer before anything happens.