San Diego, CA; May 16, 2017—PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced that MASTERPIECE is producing its first feature film which will reunite the writer, director and star of Downton Abbey. The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling American novel, will be scripted by Julian Fellowes, directed by Michael Engler, and star Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Grantham in the hit series. It will air on PBS stations nationwide after its initial theatrical run.
The Chaperone takes place against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the early 1920’s. A Kansas woman (McGovern) is forever changed when she chaperones a beautiful and talented 15-year-old dancer (Haley Lu Richardson, Split) named Louise Brooks to New York for the summer. One of them is eager to fulfill her destiny of dance and movie stardom; the other is on a mission to unearth the mysteries of her past.
Speaking at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Diego, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said, “It feels so right to reunite Julian Fellowes, Elizabeth McGovern, and director Michael Engler for our first feature film. Like Downton Abbey, The Chaperone is a beautifully told period drama set in a changing world, but now the setting is New York City.”
Julian Fellowes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be working with MASTERPIECE and Elizabeth McGovern on The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s novel, which is captivating and beguiling and resonant in so many ways.”
“It is a thrill and an honor to be working with MASTERPIECE and Julian again on his beautiful adaptation of The Chaperone, and to be in the expert hands of director Michael Engler,” said McGovern.
The Chaperone is a coproduction of MASTERPIECE and Rose Pictures in association with Anonymous Content. The Executive Producers are Rebecca Eaton, Simon Curtis, Eli Selden and Adam Shulman. The producers are Elizabeth McGovern, Rose Ganguzza, Kelly Carmichael, Victoria Hill and Gary Hamilton. It is adapted by Julian Fellowes from the novel by Laura Moriarty. The director is Michael Engler.