Apple TV+ first announced it had picked up Fingernails, a British science fiction film starring Jessie Buckley (The Woman in White) and Riz Ahmed (The Night Of), back in May 2022 off the Cannes Film Festival market. Since then, there's not been much news other than a few American castings and that production was underway. Over a year later, the film has completed production, and while there's no release schedule yet (though it is expected to arrive in time to make an awards play), the first images are officially out, as is the complete cast list.
The film, from Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou (Apples), was conceived in 2021. Nikou would write and direct, with the project serving as his English-language debut. Carey Mulligan, fresh off an Oscar nomination and getting massive buzz for Promising Young Woman, was initially attached in the lead role, and Cate Blanchett aboard as producing (though it was unclear if she would also have a part). However, the project went dead after that until Apple TV+ announced it had scooped it out of development hell and prepped it for filming. Blanchett's outfit is still monetarily attached, by the by, though the actor is not listed as part of the cast.
With Buckley and Ahmed now leading the indie-sized ensemble, the first pictures show Buckley as a woman balancing the two men in her life, something the future is supposed to have solved.
Here is the film’s synopsis:
In this sci-fi love story, a test has been discovered that measures whether couples are truly in love, and institutes have opened to help couples succeed. Anna begins working at one of these institutes as an assistant to Amir, a mysterious and dedicated instructor.
Ahmed and Buckley are joined by American actors Jeremy Allen White (The Bear), Luke Wilson (Enlightened), and Annie Murphy (Kevin Can Go **** Himself). Ahmed plays Amir, the instructor, and Buckley is Anna. White plays Ryan, Anna’s longtime partner with whom she is in “a certified love relationship,” while Murphy plays Amir’s love interest. Wilson will play the head of the Love Institute, helping couples searching for confirmation of their love, which is causing all this chaos in the first place.
Nikou co-wrote Fingernails with Stavros Raptis and Sam Steiner. Blanchett, Coco Francini, and Andrew Upton are listed as executive producers alongside FilmNation Entertainment. Jerome Duboz will serve as executive producer.
Fingernails is expected to have a limited run in theaters before the end of 2023, with a streaming release following on Apple TV+.