Dustin Hoffman has recruited a cast of top-tier British thesps to join the previously announced Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay for his directorial debut, “Quartet.”

Joining Smith and Courtenay, who have been attached to the project since mid-2010, are Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Sheridan Smith.

Scribe Ronald Harwod has adapted his stage play for the bigscreen tale about friends at a home for retired opera singers planning their annual concert.

“Quartet,” which starts lensing in Buckinghamshire, north of London, this week, is produced by Finola Dwyer for her Finola Dwyer Prods. and Stewart Mackinnon for Headline Pictures. It is backed by BBC Films, DCM Prods. and Decca.

HanWay is handling international sales. Pic has sold to Transmission for Australia and New Zealand, Delphi for Germany, Lusomundo for Portugal, A Film for Benelux, Vertice for Spain, Odeon in Greece, Elite Film in Switzerland, MG Film in former Yugoslavia, Front Row in the Middle East, Ster-Kinekor in South Africa and Atom Cinema in Taiwan. Momentum picked up “Quartet” for the U.K. at Cannes in May.