The film My Policeman was initially announced in 2020, with Harry Styles (Don't Worry Darling) and Lily James (The Pursuit of Love) eyed for the leading roles. But negotiations with James fell through, and Styles was announced to co-star Emma Corrin in early 2021, not long after her star-making turn in The Crown Season 4. Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, the film comes from Greg Berlanti, best known in the U.S. as the man behind most hit shows you see on the CW. But he's also the man behind the Love Simon film and Love Victor spinoff series that was initially deemed too risque for Disney+ and shuffled off to Hulu for two seasons before it moved back to Disney+ for Season 3.
Like Love Simon and Love Victor, My Policeman is an LGBTQ+ love story, part of a growing trend in romance in the past few years. The subgenre has expanded rapidly, especially in the books and novels, and the big and small screen adaptations are following quickly. The timing for My Policeman is pretty close to perfect, Netflix's Heartstopper, another British set queer love story between two high school boys, was a massive hit when it debuted in April and has been renewed for two more seasons a now-rare move for the ever-increasingly conservative streaming service.
My Policeman also has the added benefit of being a period piece covering the latter half of the 20th century. The drama between policeman Tom, his true love, museum curator Patrick, and the woman Tom marries to stay in the closet, teacher Marion, begins in the 1950s when homosexuality is still illegal in the U.K. It stretches over the decades to the 1990s, where an older set of actors take over in a world where AIDS and the fight for marriage equality have changed social mores around who you love.
Here's the film's synopsis:
The film tells a story of forbidden love and changing social conventions that follow three young people – policeman Tom, teacher Marion, and museum curator Patrick – as they embark on an emotional journey in 1950s Britain. Flashing forward to the 1990s, Tom, Marion, and Patrick are still reeling with longing and regret, but now they have one last chance to repair the damage of the past.
Styles, who is currently making the slow move from pop stardom to acting, plays the lead role of Tom, while Corrin plays the woman he eventually marries, Marion. David Dawson (Ripper Street) rounds out the triangle as Patrick. Linus Roache (Homeland), Gina McKee (The Forsyte Saga), and Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince) play the trio in the 1990s. Kadiff Kirwan (Timewasters) is also listed as a co-star. Michael Grandage (Genius) directed the film from Ron Nyswaner's (Ray Donovan) adapted screenplay.
My Policeman will debut in theaters during the heart of awards season on Friday, October 21, 2022, and will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on November 4.