Mary Seacole’s life story to become Hollywood movie

Film’s producer says Crimean war nurse was ahead of her time

Film’s producer says Crimean war nurse was ahead of her time

Mary Seacole (left) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who will play her in the film. Picture: Alamy

The life of nurse pioneer Mary Seacole is being turned into a Hollywood movie.

Filming is already underway for the biopic Seacole, which will depict the Jamaican-born nurse’s role in caring for wounded soldiers during the Crimean war in the 1850s. 

Mrs Seacole travelled to the Crimea despite the War Office having refused permission for her to attend as a nurse.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, star of Belle and Beauty and the Beast, will play the title role. 

Shining a light on a pioneering nurse

The film’s producer Billy Peterson, of Racing Green Pictures, told Nursing Standard he was ‘blown away’ by Mrs Seacole’s story when he read the script five years ago.

He said he wanted to make the film because he saw Mrs Seacole as ahead of her time.

‘There is a lot more attention being paid to how history has been unequal for many, whether that’s females, people of colour, whatever the case may be,’ said Mr Peterson. 

‘When financing films, part of our company’s mission is to bring these stories to audiences around the world.’

Florence Nightingale also features in the film, and will be played by Sylvia Hoeks.

‘A significant part of British history’

Mary Seacole Trust chair Trevor Sterling said the film was an ‘excellent and exciting development’.

He added: ‘It’s extremely positive because it’s another step in raising awareness about Mary and her role in the Crimean war, as well as being a significant part of British history.’

Seacole is scheduled for release in early 2021.

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