Stephen Fry has joined the cast of “Iron Box,” a multi-generational comedy about a New York businesswoman who journeys with her father to Poland in an effort to explore their roots.
The film is being directed by Julia Von Heinz, best known for her work on “And Tomorrow the Entire World” and “Isolation.” Principal photography begins this month. Zbigniew Zamachowski (“Three Colors: White”) has also joined the cast. The package is coming together for the European Film Market (EFM) at Berlin.
Fry is an actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and bon vivant. He starred to great acclaim as Oscar Wilde in “Wilde” and teamed memorably with Hugh Laurie on “A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” “Jeeves and Wooster” and “Blackadder.” On screen, Fry’s credits include “V for Vendetta,” “Sherlock Holmes” and “The Hobbit” series. He recently appeared on Hulu’s “The Dropout.” He can next be seen in the Netflix project “The Fuck It Bucket” and Apple’s next season of “The Morning Show.”
“I am thrilled to be working with Julia Von Heinz and Lena Dunham on this remarkable script,” Fry said. “It’s truly remarkable. The moment I read it I knew I had to be involved. It chimes with so much in my own family history, but I think in its brilliant depiction of a tricky, funny and spiky father-daughter relationship it will chime with just about everyone, whatever their story.”
“Iron Box” unfolds in mid-’90s Poland, as Ruth (Dunham), an American music journalist, and her father, Edek (Fry), a Holocaust survivor, come back to his native country. While Ruth is eager to make sense of her family’s history, Edek embarks on the trip with his own agenda, one filled with distraction and entertainment. All of this is set at a time of change for Poland, which is shaking off its socialist past. Initially, Mandy Patinkin had been cast as Edek, but scheduling conflicts led to Fry joining the project.
Von Heinz said “Iron Box” will conclude the director’s “Aftermath Trilogy,” which examines the legacy of the Nazi regime. She wrote the script with John Quester. It is adapted from Lily Brett’s critically acclaimed and best selling novel “Too Many Men.”
“Exactly 10 years ago, I contacted Lily Brett about the film rights of her novel,” Von Heinz said. “I wrote to her as a fan and admirer. Her books are brilliant, deeply funny and at the same time aware of the ultimate sadness of life. This film being made today, with this cast and these partners, is more than I ever dared to dream.”
Fabian Gasmia and Julia Von Heinz produced the movie for Seven Elephants, with Dunham producing it for Good Thing Going. Haïku Films, Kings & Queens and Lava Films are co-producers on the movie. Good Thing Going’s Michael Cohen is an executive producer.
FilmNation Entertainment is repping international rights excluding France, Germany, Austria and Poland. The company will represent U.S. rights with CAA Media Finance.
“Julia Von Heinz’s hilarious and heartwarming vision for ‘Iron Box’ is irresistible,” said Glen Basner, CEO of Film Nation. “This unique father-daughter road trip will entertain audiences everywhere and deliver the warm, emotional experience we are all looking for.”
“At our table for ‘Iron Box’ I realized how lucky I am to work with such great minds and kind human beings like Lena Dunham, Stephen Fry and Julia von Heinz,” Gasmia said. “I am so excited and grateful for all the great support from all our partners around the world.”
Von Heinz is represented by CAA. Dunham is represented by CAA, ID and HJTH. Fry is represented by Hamilton Hodell and CAA.
The film is being financed by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung MDM, German-French Minitraité, CNC Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée, FFF Bayern, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Creative Europe MEDIA, DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Cinéma du Monde, Claims Conference and the Shoa Foundation. It is a co-production with SWR – Südwestrundfunk, MDR – Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, BR – Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, Magic Media, Bewegte Bilder and The Post Republic.