Actor Josh O’Connor, fresh off his Emmy win for The Crown earlier this year, has announced his next project: a gay World War I drama titled The History of Sound.
O’Connor joins actor Paul Mescal (Normal People) in the film, based on a short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ben Shattuck. Oliver Hermanus, who directed the gay drama Moffie earlier this year, will helm the project.
Variety reports that “the story follows two young men, Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who, during the WW1 period, set out to record the lives, voices, and music of their countrymen.” Along the way, the two fall madly in love.
“Paul and Josh are two of the most promising actors of their generation who will share with us deeply soulful performances,” director Hermanus said of the casting. “This is an unexpected love story that needs to be told — it is a journey through the life of America, across the 20th century and the traditions of American folk music, all seen through the bond between two men immersed in the history of sound. This undeniably powerful story will certainly resonate with audiences the world over.”
For O’Connor, work on The History of Sound represents a return to his roots. The actor first rose to stardom in the queer indie romance God’s Own Country in 2017, a film critics cited as the British answer to Brokeback Mountain. Since then, he’s gone on to nab roles in Emma and the TV miniseries Les Misérables. He also starred as Prince Charles in Season 4 of The Crown, for which he won an Emmy.
Cameras roll on The History of Sound in Summer 2022.