You probably haven’t yet heard of Lion. The survivalist drama is based on the memoirs of Saroo Brierley, telling the tale of how his five-year-old self was lost on the streets of Calcutta until he made his way into the loving home of an Australian family. It’s a story that’ll surely squeeze a few tears out of you by the time the credits roll. The film recently wrapped in India and is ready to head on over to Australia in the weeks ahead. In light of this development, the film has firmed up its cast with a crop of truly impressive acting talents.
Rooney Mara, star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the upcoming Peter Pan movie, is the most recent addition to Lion, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actress has been making some strategic acting choices, moving ahead in her post-Elizabeth Salander days, and this next project is no different. While the film features a bevy of top-notch talent from India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Deepti Naval, the actors Mara will join in Australia include Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, David Wenham, and Divian Ladwa. Hugh Jackman was said to be involved at one point, but those reports proved to be inaccurate. Still, Lion is looking more impressive by the minute.
So you can say you knew about this movie when, here’s a more in-depth look at the faces behind this intriguing pic.
Nicole KidmanKidman has been attached to Lion since October 2014, when she was announced alongside Dev Patel. She’ll play the woman, Sue, who adopts the young Saroo after he has been wandering alone in an unfamiliar place. Kidman is coming off her role in the Paddington Bear movie, and Lion marks another interesting role for her, along with Stranger Land, Queen of the Desert, and The Secret In Their Eyes.
Dev PatelPatel’s role as the all-grown-up Saroo gives a nod back to his star-making turn in Slumdog Millionaire. The two films share common elements: both are heart-wrenching stories of perseverance and inner strength, both feature dual storylines between the younger and older selves, and both see harsh realities through the eyes of a child. Patel has made a name for himself since his Slumdog days with roles in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel franchise, Aaron Sorkin’s now-canceled The Newsroom, and, more recently, Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi effort, Chappie. The Weinstein Co. has high hopes for Lion, and Patel’s performance as the older Saroo.
David WenhamWenham was also announced alongside Mara. The actor, who we’ve seen in the 300 movies, the Golden Globe-winning miniseries Top of the Lake, and Paper Planes, presumably plays Kidman’s on-screen husband. Both Kidman and Wenham are Australian-born actors, which must be refreshing for them to return to their native accents. Aside from Top of the Lake, Wenham hasn’t had many opportunities to flex his dramatic chops in a spotlight-stealing role, but it looks like Lion might be the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
Divian LadwaThe last actor to join the ranks of the cast is Divian Ladwa. It’s unclear what role he’ll play in Lion, and he's fairly unknown on the U.S. movie circuit. He's been featured in a variety of short films, as well as the BBC series Detectorists. Lion is his first big-time movie credit, which could potentially give him the breakthrough moment he needs to land more high-profile roles, depending on the nature of his involvement, of course. With the other names attached, Lion is quickly becoming one the more highly anticipated offerings on the way.