Judi Dench to Star in Stephen Frears’ ‘Victoria and Abdul’ for Working Title

Olivier Awards 2016
Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock

Judi Dench will star as Queen Victoria and Stephen Frears will direct Working Title Films’ “Victoria and Abdul,” to which Focus Features will hold worldwide rights.

The movie is slated to go into production this year for a 2017 release. Focus will release the movie in the U.S., and Universal Pictures Intl. will distribute the film around the world. “Victoria and Abdul” is being co-financed by Focus in association with BBC Films.

The screenplay is by Lee Hall, based on Shrabani Basu’s book “Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.” Hall was Oscar nominated for “Billy Elliot.”

“Victoria and Abdul” was developed by Beeban Kidron and Hall at Cross Street Films with BBC Films, and is being produced by Kidron, Tracey Seaward (“The Queen”), and Working Title’s co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Bevan and Fellner have produced several Working Title movies for Focus release, including the best picture Oscar nominees “Atonement” and “The Theory of Everything.”

According to the press announcement of “Victoria and “Abdul,” the film tells “the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.”

Dench will be playing Queen Victoria for a second time, having been Oscar-nominated for her previous portrayal in “Mrs. Brown.” She won an Academy Award for portraying Queen Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love,” and has also received Oscar nominations for her performances in “Chocolat,” “Iris,” Frears’ “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Notes on a Scandal” and Frears’ “Philomena,” also a best picture Oscar nominee.

Working Title’s upcoming slate includes “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” directed by Sharon Maguire and starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey; “The Snowman,” directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson and Val Kilmer; and “Baby Driver,” directed by Edgar Wright and starring Jon Hamm, Lily James, Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Mattie says:

    Have the reports of her death been greatly exaggerated?

  2. jenniferhenderson says:

    The best part of work is from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week. Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more info Check the following link….
    ••••••••••••► Read More Detail….

More Film News from Variety

Loading