EXCLUSIVE:  Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Emily Mortimer and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) have all joined the cast of The Lunchbox director Ritesh Batra’s The Sense of Ending. They join the previously announced Jim Broadbent in the big screen adaptation of 2011 Man Booker Prize winner by Julian Barnes. Playwright Nick Payne (Constellations) is adapting the book.  Also joining for the cast are Billy Howle (soon to be seen opposite Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan in the big screen adaptation of Chekov’s The Seagull), Freya Mavor (Sunshine on Leith,) and Joe Alwyn (Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk).

The Sense of an Ending is being produced by David Thompson and Ed Rubin of Origin Pictures. BBC Films’ Christine Langan and Ed Weathered are exec producers, along with Film Nation’s Ben Browning and Glen Basner, and LipSync Productions’ Norman Merry. BBC Films, LipSync Productions and FilmNation Entertainment are financing the film. FilmNation is handling worldwide sales.

Principal photography begins August 16 for seven weeks on location in London and Bristol. Barnes’ book follows the divorced and retired Tony Webster (Broadbent), who recalls how he and his group met Adrian Finn at school and vowed to remain friends for life. Years later, Tony’s comfortable, if lonely, existence is rocked to its core when an old love bequeathes him Adrian’s diary in her will leading Tony on a voyage of self-discovery that will make him question everything he has told himself about the preceding 40 years of his life.

“We are really excited about making this film, based on Julian Barnes’ remarkable book. Ritesh is a major directing talent, as shown by his wonderful film The Lunchbox that had such sensitivity and emotional punch,” said Origin Pictures’ David Thompson.  “We’re thrilled also to be working with Nick Payne on his first feature film script – he has a startlingly original voice. None of this would have happened without the major part played by BBC Films in developing the project and backing the talent involved – another example of the importance of BBC Films in creating a bold and risk-taking UK industry. We feel very lucky to have such a combination of talents which has attracted such a striking cast – and also a great production partner, FilmNation.”