War and Peace star Jack Lowden confirmed to play Morrissey in biopic

War and Peace star Jack Lowden will take the lead role in Steven, a biopic about the early life of the Smiths singer and solo artist Morrissey, producers have confirmed.

Lowden, who played soldier Nikolai Rostov in the BBC’s hit adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, will perform songs including Smiths single This Charming Man in the biopic, according to reports.

The 25-year-old actor described Morrissey as a “massive icon” in an interview with the Daily Mail and revealed the film will deal with the singer’s sense of disenchantment while working in a Manchester tax office after leaving school.

“He did a whole bunch of jobs while he figured out who he was,” said Lowden. “He came from a working-class background, and felt out of place there. He wanted to get out and escape into that explosion of music that was in Manchester around that time. It was exhilarating, and everyone was trying to find their place.”

Titled after the singer’s first name, the biopic was announced in 2014 with writer-director Mark Gill, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2014 for his short film The Voorman Problem, taking charge. The film’s producer, Orian Williams, previously worked on Control, Anton Corbijn’s acclaimed biopic on the life of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.

“It’s as much a film for non-Morrissey fans as it is for die hard devotees,” he said in 2014. “But I can’t deny that this is a love letter to Steven Patrick Morrissey and the dark satanic mills of Manchester.”

Gill, who grew up near where Morrissey was raised in Urmston, Manchester, will start shooting the film in April, reports say. So far, no other details have been announced. It is not clear whether Steven will feature actors playing the other members of the Smiths, but it has been described by production company Honlodge Productions as “a portrait of Morrissey’s early life prior to forming a legendary songwriting partnership with Johnny Marr”.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 18th March 2016 13.21 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010