The Crown’s Josh O’Connor and Normal People star Paul Mescal to play gay lovers in romantic drama

Paul Mescal in Normal People and Josh O'Connor on the red carpet

The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor and Normal People star Paul Mescal are set to play gay lovers in an upcoming romantic drama called The History of Sound.

The film, directed by Oliver Hermanus, will follow Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor) as they embark on an extraordinary mission to document “the lives, voices and music of their countrymen” during the World War I era, according to Variety.

“In this snatched, short-lived moment in their young lives, and while discovering the epic sweep of the US, both men are deeply changed,” the film’s official synopsis says.

The History of Sound is based on the award-winning short story by Ben Shattuck. The project is being co-financed by Film4.

In a statement, Hermanus said he “instantly fell in love” with Shattuck’s “flawlessly beautiful short story” when he first read it. He knew he had to be involved in bringing it to the big screen.

“Paul and Josh are two of the most promising actors of their generation who will share with us deeply soulful performances,” he said.

“This is an unexpected love story that needs to be told – it is a journey through the life of America, across the 20th century and the traditions of American folk music, all seen through the bond between two men immersed in the history of sound.

“This undeniably powerful story will certainly resonate with audiences the world over.”

Josh O’Connor rose to fame for playing a gay sheep farmer in God’s Own Country

Principal photography on the project will commence in the summer of 2022 in the United States, while some of the film will be shot on location in the UK and Italy.

The news comes after both O’Connor and Mescal were catapulted to fame for their roles in The Crown and Normal People.

O’Connor had won critical acclaim for his performance as a gay sheep farmer in God’s Own Country, but it was his role as Prince Charles in The Crown that brought him to international attention. He ultimately won an Emmy for his pitch perfect performance.

Meanwhile, Paul Mescal had his breakout in the limited series Normal People, based on the novel of the same name by Sally Rooney. He was nominated for an Emmy for his role in show, which captured hearts across the world when it debuted in 2020.