Working Title has tapped Judi Dench to star as Queen Victoria in VICTORIA AND ABDUL. Stephen Frears is set to direct the period drama, based on the true story chronicled in Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story Of The Queen’s Closest Confidant.
The film tells the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
Lee Hall adapted the script from Shrabani’s novel. Hall previously wrote the Oscar-nominated Billy Elliot.
Focus Features will release the film in the US while Universal Pictures International distributes around the world, with a 2017 premiere. Focus is financing in associate with BBC Films.
Cross Street Films and BBC developed the film and Cross Street’s Beeban Kidron, Tracey Seaward, and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce.
This is Dench’s second time playing the roll on screen, the first time being in Mrs. Brown, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. She will next be seen in Tulip Fever with Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz.
Emily J | Staff Writer