The star-studded British drama My Policeman is expected to join the pantheon of gay romance adaptations with Maurice, Brokeback Mountain, Call Me By Your Name, and Love, Simon. This film is based on a well-received 2012 novel written by Bethan Roberts, which The Guardian described as “A humane and evocative portrait of a time when lives were destroyed by intolerance.” With Harry Styles cast in the lead role, needless to say, it’s been the talk of the town among his devotees.
In June 2021, the director Michael Grandage posted a photo from Venice in Italy with Harry Styles and David Dawson on his Instagram, announcing the end of the shoot. Since then, the Twitter account My Policeman Updates, which allegedly has contact with a film crew insider, has continued to provide the impatient fans with all the latest behind-the-scenes chatter. They posted a reaction to the recent test screening: “None of us are ready for how much we are going to cry. There are little moments where the audience gasped, where they laughed – slight changes to the book that made people sob. Can’t wait!” Neither can we!
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After such a long wait, audiences now finally know when they’ll get to see the film. Despite continued delays and a long period of time that we spent in confusion about when the film would finally be released, the Toronto International Film Festival has announced the movie premier in their lineup this September. However, the movie won’t be available to the public until late October 2022.
Here is everything we know about My Policeman.
Updated July 2022 by Ted Bajer: If you’re looking for more information about My Policeman, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve updated this article with a release date and the first trailer.
My Policeman: The Plot
The year is 1957 in the English seaside town, Brighton, situated south of London. Homosexuality is illegal, and openly gay people face prosecution and imprisonment. Schoolteacher Marion has found the perfect husband material in her best friend’s brother, a secretly gay policeman named Tom. However, he is caught up in a forbidden affair with a local museum curator, Patrick.
In the end, forced by the unfavorable political situation, Tom opts in for a socially accepted make-believe relationship and marries Marion while leaving the true love of his life behind. An avalanche of consequences is set off when Patrick re-enters the picture forty years later, and Tom’s double life becomes exposed.
Both of Tom’s partners offer their own perspectives of the story throughout the book. Bethan Roberts explained the initial hesitation about writing from a gay man’s perspective:
“At first, the pressure of the responsibilities involved made me reluctant to write in Patrick’s voice, to make any claim to knowing what life was like for this man. (…) In the end I just couldn’t resist the challenge of writing Patrick’s voice and inhabiting his persona, and my attitude was: why not? After all, one of the great pleasures of reading and writing fiction is inhabiting worlds far from your own experience.”
In December 2021, Roberts confirmed that she was not officially involved in the film adaptation.
My Policeman: The Cast
Starring in the key role of Tom is Harry Styles. The former One Direction singer has attracted the attention of his fans to this much-anticipated film. Although best known for his music career, Styles is no acting novice. He made his debut in Christopher Nolan’s World War II historical drama Dunkirk and appeared in the Marvel action flick Eternals as Eros. What’s more, My Policeman isn’t his only film coming out this year. Director Olivia Wilde, with whom Styles is also in a relationship, cast him in her upcoming horror, Don’t Worry Darling, which is expected to premiere on September 23, 2022. He took on Shia LaBeouf’s original role, whom the director fired for unacceptable behavior.
Tom’s wife Marion is played by the charismatic Emma Corrin, who received a Golden Globe Award last year for her excellent performance as Princess Diana in the popular Netflix drama about the British royal family, The Crown. With that being their first prominent role, they are now playing the protagonist in the forthcoming Netflix adaptation of a timeless erotic romance classic, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
David Dawson plays the role of Tom’s secret lover Patrick, whom audiences may have seen in the historical fiction series The Last Kingdom, the second season of awarded BBC crime show Luther, and the early 20th-century gangster drama Peaky Blinders. He will also appear in the new Amazon Studios exclusive thriller All the Old Knives, which came out in April earlier this year.
Later in the timeline, we’ll see Homeland’s Linus Roache as the older version of Tom, BAFTA winner Gina McKee as the older Marion, and Rupert Everett, who had already played a gay character in Another Country.
My Policeman is directed by Michael Grandage, also known for his acting career in the nineties. His most successful film to date is the 2016 biographical drama Genius, based on A. Scott Berg’s novel, starring Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce, and Dominic West.
Fans have spent a long time waiting on a release date, and finally, My Policeman announced its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Unfortunately, those not lucky enough to attend the festival will have to wait until October 21, 2022, for its theatrical release.
The film will be available everywhere on Amazon Prime on November 4, 2022. There was an advanced test screening in San Diego on March 7, 2022, and the audience had nothing but words of appreciation, describing it as “gorgeous,” praising Styles’ “nuanced” performance, and calling Emma Corrin “outstanding.”