Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor will find love in a WWI-era romance

Two of the UK’s preeminent heartthrobs will pool their dreaminess as the leads of Oliver Hermanus’ upcoming film.


Charles Bramesco


The rumbling you may have heard earlier today was just the collective reaction to a particularly buzzy bit of casting news pertaining to two of the UK’s most widely pined-after heartthrobs, pooling their dreaminess in a joint project for the first time. Any confusion about why fans of Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor have been gasping for air over the past few hours — that will be why.

The actors have signed on to costar in the upcoming film The History of Sound, an adaptation of Ben Shattuck’s award-winning short story of the same name. To further sweeten the deal, they’ll be directed by Oliver Hermanus, the South African filmmaker last seen at the helm of the Angolan apartheid picture Moffie and currently hard at work on his Ikiru quasi-remake Living.

The History of Sound follows Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), a pair of young men who set out across America circa World War I on an anthropological mission, of sorts: they decide to create a record of the “lives, voices, and music of their countrymen,” as the Variety item breaking the news put it. While they roam the countryside and the global conflict rages elsewhere, the men find a tender love with one another, bound to culminate in a hushed and tender sex scene sure to make many a teenage girl’s brain instantaneously liquefy.

While the pedigree of the talent involved cannot be denied, it’s a bit odd that a team with such distinct roots in the UK would be tapped for a project so oriented around Americana. We’ve yet to even hear Mescal’s American accent, and fans of Hermanus will wonder how he’ll take to the transplant as well.

First, he’ll have to complete production on Living, with principal photography not commencing until summer of 2022. (The Variety item mentions that Hermanus will shoot locations in the UK and Italy as well, suggesting that the war may not be so far from the idyll enjoyed by the two men after all.) But when it does, it’ll undoubtedly be the most spied-upon set since Timothée Chalamet donned Young Wonka’s top hat.

Published 29 Oct 2021

Tags: Josh O’Connor Oliver Hermanus Paul Mescal

Suggested For You

Paul Mescal will take to the Irish countryside for an A24 psychodrama

By Charles Bramesco

Co-directors Anna Rose Holmer and Saela Davis are preparing a follow-up to 2015’s The Fits.

Normal People faithfully captures the intensity of Sally Rooney’s novel

By Emma Fraser

This complex tale of first love and friendship is brought to life on screen by two terrific young leads.

Paul Mescal set to star in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter

By Charles Bramesco

The Normal People actor has been cast in the upcoming psychological thriller, Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut.

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.