Dig, The (2021): Simon Stone’s British Drama about the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo, Starring Ralph Fiennes, Carry Mulligan, Lily James

Simon Stone directed The Dig, a British drama based on the 2007 novel by John Preston, which reimagines the events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo.

It stars Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, Ken Stott, Archie Barnes, and Monica Dolan.


In 1939, Suffolk landowner Edith Pretty hires local self-taught archaeologist-excavator Basil Brown to tackle the large burial mounds at her rural estate in Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge. At first, she offers the same money he received from the Ipswich Museum, the agricultural wage, but he says it is inadequate; so she ups her offer by 12% to £2 a week, which he accepts.

It had a limited release on January 14, 2021, followed by streaming on Netflix on 29 January 2021.

The film received 5 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, including one for Outstanding British Film.


Directed by Simon Stone
Screenplay by Moira Buffini, based on The Dig by John Preston
Produced by Gabrielle Tana, Ellie Wood, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Murray Ferguson
Cinematography Mike Eley
Edited by Jon Harris
Music by Stefan Gregory
Production companies: Magnolia Mae Films, Clerkenwell Films
Distributed by Netflix
Release dates: January 15, 2021 (US)
Running time: 112 minutes