The 90-minute single drama explores the explosive love affair between photographer David Bailey and 1960s supermodel Jean Shrimpton.
Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four, commented: “The story of David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton is classic territory for BBC Four – a moment in time, a fusion of talents, that had a huge impact on cultural life. It is a drama that is all about being alive and taking a chance, being young and kicking down the statues, and yet it is also a beautiful love story. And if you want to know why our world looks like it does, then this is the drama that tells you.”
Set predominantly in 1962 but also exploring the story of how Bailey and Shrimpton first met, the drama reveals how a young, visionary photographer refused to conform. He insisted on using the unconventional model Jean Shrimpton on an important photo shoot for British Vogue and, over the course of a freezing week in Manhattan, threw out the rule book and made startling, original photographs. We’ll Take Manhattan is the story of that wild week, of Bailey and Jean’s love affair, and of how two young people accidentally changed the world forever.
Executive producer Claire Parker commented: “In Jean, Bailey found someone that he and his camera fell in love with. We’ll Take Manhattan captures the essence of their dynamic affair and how they unwittingly changed the face of a decade. This is a really exciting opportunity to tell an intimate love story that plays out against the backdrop of Britain on the cusp of huge social and cultural change. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to make another film for BBC Four and are thrilled to have Karen Gillan on board as Jean.”
Written and directed by John McKay (Life On Mars, Robin Hood), We’ll Take Manhattan begins filming in May, starring Gillan as Jean Shrimpton.