Judi Dench and Steve Coogan to Star in Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA

     September 28, 2012

judi-dench-steve-coogan-slice

We previously reported that Stephen Frears (The Queen) is attached to direct Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Film, and from our interview with on the film’s stars, Benjamin Walker, it looks like that will be Frears’ follow-up to the disappointing Lay the Favorite.  The director is also the frontrunner to helm a Freddie Mercury biopic, and now Variety reports that he’s set to direct Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Coogan will play former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped Lee locate her son.

Hit the jump for more.

lost-child-philomena-lee-book-coverAccording to Variety‘s synopsis, Lee gave birth to a son at Sean Ross Abbey, a Catholic home for unmarried mothers in Tipperary.  Three years later, the nuns forced her to give up the boy and sign a document promising she would never look for him.  After moving to England and having a family, she met Sixsmith in 2004 and the two resolved to track down Lee’s son.

Her son’s story is also fascinating.  Per Variety:

They learned that the boy, whose birth name was Anthony, had been renamed Michael Hess, and grew up to become a lawyer and Republican politician in the 1980s. But he was also a closeted homosexual with AIDS. Lee discovered that, with his time running out, her son had travelled to Ireland to plead with the convent to reveal the identity of his mother so he could meet her before he died, but the nuns refused.

It sounds like a tearjerker, and I’m curious to see how Frears keeps the emotional power of the story without being sappy.  There’s no word if Philomena will be his follow-up to Muhammad Ali or if he’ll go with his Freddie Mercury biopic assuming he gets the gig.

Around The Web

Latest News

George Miller’s Abandoned JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Getting the Documentary Treatment

Australian filmmaker Ryan Unicomb will direct a documentary exploring the DC Universe that might have been.

Director Gil Kenan Talks POLTERGEIST, Why he Made the Film, and Future Projects

Plus, Kenan talks about knowing he'd face criticism no matter how good the film ended up.

JURASSIC WORLD: New Featurette Welcomes You to the Park with Tons of New Footage

"To see 'Jurassic World' come to life is like seeing 'Jurassic Park' come true."

Cary Fukunaga Will Not Direct Stephen King’s IT for New Line

Reasons ranging from the poor box office take of 'Poltergeist' to plain old budget cuts have been cited.

3 New ANT-MAN Images Size up Paul Rudd, Michael Doulgas, and Evangeline Lilly

Marvel’s next film is less than two months away.

9 Movies You Forgot Were Scored by Hans Zimmer

One of the best composers of our time has a resume that's both extensive and versatile, ranging from 'Cool Runnings' to 'Mission: Impossible 2'.

FANTASTIC FOUR International Trailer Brings New Footage; Josh Trank Denies Reshoot Rumors

The director takes to social media to debunk troubled word on the upcoming blockbuster.

More THE MARTIAN Images Feature Matt Damon Surviving Ridley Scott’s Red Planet

The upcoming film also stars Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels.

DHEEPAN Review | Cannes 2015

Jacques Audiard's latest film won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Bad Weekend: The Last 10 Memorial Day Movies, Ranked

It turns out most Memorial Day movies aren’t very good.

Page 1 of 3,96412345...102030...Last »