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The first image of Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) in character as the title character in Ophelia has emerged courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, and it’s a pretty faithful rendition of Hamlet’s scorned ex.

Long chestnut tresses? Check. Green medieval dress? Check. Pensive facial expression? Check. Daisy has ditched the Jedi garb and is the embodiment of Shakespeare‘s tragic character in this pic from the set of new film Ophelia:

(Image: Covert Media)
(Image: Covert Media)

Except this isn’t just a new version of HamletOphelia will, in fact, retell the Hamlet story from the point of view of his ex-girlfriend, a role previously played on screen by such illustrious actresses as Jean Simmons, Helena Bonham Carter, and Kate Winslet.

In this new version, Ophelia takes center stage. Based on an award-winning novel of the same name by Lisa Klein, Ophelia is set in the fourteenth century but spoken in a “contemporary voice,” according to the film’s producers.

Frankly, it’s overdue. Hamlet the Dane is many things — a grieving son, the heir to Denmark’s throne, and a murderer — but there’s one aspect to his character that often goes overlooked: he’s also a spectacularly bad boyfriend.

There’s dumping Ophelia in the first place, followed by his suggestion she join a nunnery, and then, as breakups go, we’d say “killing your dad” is up there with one of the worst atrocities committed by splitting exes (second only, perhaps, to “passive-aggressive Facebook likes”).

It casts her as a lady-in-waiting for Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts) who enters into a secret romance with the queen’s son, Hamlet (Captain Fantastic‘s George MacKay).

It would be a perfect set-up for a historical romance or a medieval rom-com, but, as anyone who’s seen Shakespeare‘s play will attest, that’s not quite how things play out. Hamlet instead descends into a spiral of grief and depression following his father’s sudden death, and it’s not long before “Haphelia” is dunzo.

Also starring in this new version is Harry Potter‘s Tom Felton as Ophelia’s brother, Laertes; Clive Owen (The Knick) as Hamlet’s evil uncle, Claudius; and Devon Terrell (Barry) as Hamlet’s friend, Horatio.

It’s filming now, though a release date has so far not been announced.

Do you think Daisy will make a good Ophelia?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.