Highland Film Group announced today that Academy-nominated, BAFTA Award-winning actor Steve Coogan (Philomena, The Trip) has signed on to play the title role of James Boswell in a feature film adaptation of acclaimed West End play, Boswell for the Defence.
Boswell for the Defence, which will begin production in 2015, tells the true story of how James Boswell (Coogan), in the twilight of his career and life, takes on an impossible case – to save the life of the convict Mary Bryant from the gallows. A case no one else wants or cares about. The tragi-comic Boswell is the most unlikely hero from the most unlikely quarter. But he manages to find his past brilliance long enough to save the day.
Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers, Ned Kelly) will direct from a script by Patrick Edgeworth, who also wrote the play. Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman will produce. Armyan Bernstein (Beacon Pictures) will executive produce. The project is represented by Highland Film Group Internationally.
Commenting on the casting, producers Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman said: “Whether it be ‘Lincoln’ or ‘Thatcher,’ bringing a historical figure to life is always a challenge, but Steve’s extraordinary ability to blend humour and pathos make him the perfect artist to bring such a complex character like Boswell to the screen. We are excited to see him make this role his own.”
“We fell in love with the script, and combined with Gregor’s vision and Coogan’s talent create the complete package which will be sure to resonate with buyers and appeal to global audiences,” said Highland Film Groups Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier. “Plus we are looking forward to collaborating with talented producers such as Steve and Mark.”
“‘Boswell for the Defence’ is a unique combination of drama and humour about the most unlikely of people becoming a hero. Gregor’s vision for the film was an instantaneous fit. We are equally excited to start collaborating with Steve and Mark on this project and bringing this extraordinary film to audiences worldwide,” said Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier.
(Photo Credit: Lexie Appleby / Future Image / WENN.com)