Gangs of London star Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù will join The Crown actors Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor in upcoming movie Mothering Sunday.

Dìrísù also joins Colin Firth and The Professor’s Odessa Young in the drama, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Graham Swift and adapted for the screen by Normal People writer Alice Birch.

Mothering Sunday is set in March 1924 and sees maid Jane Fairchild (Young) given the day off by her employers Mr and Mrs Niven (Firth and Colman) so that she can celebrate Mothering Sunday. The Nivens meanwhile attend a lunch to celebrate the engagement of their neighbour’s son Paul (O’Connor).

Sope Dirisu wearing a suit and tie and holding a sign: Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù, July 2020© David M. Benett – Getty Images Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù, July 2020
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But Jane and Paul have been lovers for almost seven years and orphan Jane has no mother to go to visit, so the only thing Jane wants to do with her day off is to see Paul. With the house empty they can finally meet in Paul’s bedroom for the first time, on their last day as lovers.

But the day will also mark the beginning of Jane’s transformation…

Dìrísù has been cast as Donald, a man who plays a significant role in Jane’s later life.

The film’s producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley praised the actor, saying: “We believe he will make a fantastic Donald in Alice Birch’s adaptation of Graham’s novel. His versatility and skill will be a great asset in playing a character whose age range spans across two decades, and we are very excited to add him to an already exceedingly talented cast.”

As well as playing Elliot Finch in Sky Atlantic crime drama Gangs of London, Dìrísù has also starred in Humans and Black Mirror and is due to appear in upcoming Netflix horror movie His House, as well as lending his voice to the second season of the BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials as Sergi.

Principal photography on Mothering Sunday has now begun, with Eva Husson directing, and the film is due to have a theatrical release in 2021.