When you hear the name Guy Ritchie, you likely think of one of two types of films: There’s the hyper-kinetic, beat-em-up action films like the Sherlock Holmes franchise, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Then there’s the relatively more subtle, quirky, and focused British underworld dramas like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Ritchie’s latest film, news of which is about to be unleashed at next week’s Cannes Festival, will be squarely in that latter trend as you might have guessed from its title, Toff Guys.
As Deadline reports, Ritchie will next direct Toff Guys, a “stylized and inherently British drama” he co-wrote with collaborators Marn Davies and Ivan Atkinson. CAA Media Finance and Rocket Science will shop it to foreign and domestic buyers alike during Cannes using some variation of this pitch: “Set at the intersection of Sexy Beast and Downton Abbey, [Toff Guys] follows a very English drug lord attempting to cash out on his highly profitable empire by selling it off to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.” Sounds about right!
Few other details are available but you can likely expect a few things: high-energy camerawork with an at-times frenetic pace, pared down storylines that focus on the real rather than the fantastic, and dialogue so packed with local parlance and mumbly delivered to the point of being incoherent. At least, I hope so! Culture clashes in Ritchie’s aforementioned works offer up some of the most hilarious moments that come out of inherent conflict, so seeing a bunch of English underworlders interacting with American Okies and their sing-song banter should be an area rich with comedic potential. As Deadline’s insiders reported, it’s “about old money, new money, and show me the money.” Now all that’s left is the casting to get me all the way on board with Toff Guys.
Next up for Richie is, perhaps surprisingly, Disney’s live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Aladdin, due out May 24, 2019.