Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire, Love Sonia) and Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan will headline the period romance Mr Malcolm’s List, an adaptation of the short film of the same name by Emma Holly Jones, Deadline reported on Thursday. Jones will also direct the film, her debut feature.

The Mr Malcolm’s List short, which also featured Pinto and Chan, is based on Suzanne Allain’s 2009 novel and was released by Refinery29 on February 14. Set in 1800s England, the story traces the courtship between Julia (Chan) and the wealthy Mr Malcolm (Sope Dirisu), who has “an unattainable list of demands for his future wife”. Pinto plays Selina, who comes to Julia’s aid.

Allain had also written a screenplay based on her book, which will be the basis for the film. Deadline said the makers have planned a “culturally diverse cast” that will “reclaim historical narratives that are traditionally played by white actors”. Refinery29, Untitled Entertainment and Rebelle Media will produce the movie.

Freida Pinto’s releases in 2018 included Love Sonia and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. Among her upcoming Hollywood projects are the animated film Mira, Royal Detective, the fantasy adventure Needle in a Timestack. and the dystopian thriller Only.

Mr Malcolm's List (2019).