Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence is to play the role of Agnes Magnúsdóttir in the 19th century true-crime drama ‘Burial Rites’, which is being directed by Luca Guadagnino, who is a front-runner in the Oscar race this year with his romance-drama ‘Call Me by Your Name’.
Lawrence will not only star in, but also produce the upcoming film adaptation of Australian author Hannah Kent’s award-winning 2013 novel, Burial Rites.
Based on true events, the novel tells the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1830. A farm worker at the time, Agnes was sentenced to death for her part in the murders of Natan Ketilsson and Pétur Jónsson, as well as setting fire to Natan’s homestead, Illugastaðir in the county of Húnavatnssýsla in North Iceland.
The story takes place during the last winter of Agnes’ life while she awaits confirmation of her death sentence by the high court in Denmark. As she waits to die, she starts to live, reluctantly forging emotional and romantic attachments.
Ultimately Agnes and her accomplice, Friðrik Sigurðsson, were convicted of the murders and their beheading ultimately took place on the 12th of January, 1830. These two executions would become the last ones to ever take place in Iceland, the previous execution having taken place in 1790, 40 years earlier. All of the farmers in the county were required to attend the execution and the head of Agnes was placed on a spike to warn others of committing crimes.