Saoirse Ronan has been cast in the period drama Mary, Queen of Scots.

The actress will play the lead role in the biopic, which has been scripted by Michael Hirst.

Deadline reports that Working Title are seeking a director for the film, which aims to begin production next year.

Crowned the queen of Scotland before she was a year old, Mary's life was full of intrigue and saw her abdicate the throne after marrying the man suspected of murdering her late husband.

Seeking refuge with her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, she was imprisoned and ultimately executed for complicity in a plot to assassinate the queen.

Ronan will next appear in the adaptation of Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and Neil Jordan’s Byzantium.