Imelda Staunton, Freddie Highmore, Miranda Hart and Toby Jones have joined the voice cast of The Canterville Ghost which reunites Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Kim Burdon is directing the adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s story that’s penned by Giles New and Keiron Self. The animated film is produced by Robert Chandler and Gina Carter with Content kicking off sales in Cannes. Fry plays Sir Simon de Canterville who has been haunting his ancestral home in rural England for over 300 years, scaring off tenants with ease and aplomb — until the Otis family moves in from America. The Canterville Ghost has previously been made in several iterations from TV movies to features and radio plays with such talent as John Gielgud, Charles Laughton and David Niven. This is the first time it will be animated. Staunton, Highmore and Jones are represented by Artist Rights Group, Miranda Hart is with Troika.
BBC Films has added The Lady In The Van to its Cannes slate. Maggie Smith will star in the adaptation of Alan Bennett’s memoir to be directed by Nicholas Hytner. Alex Jennings (The Queen) is playing Bennett in the story that’s based on the playwright’s experiences with Miss Shepherd, a vagrant who parked her out old van in his driveway and stayed for 15 years. Kevin Loader, Damian Jones and Hytner will produce. BBC Films is also producing City Of Tiny Lights starring Riz Ahmed and Roshan Seth and directed by Pete Travis. Patrick Neate is adapting his own novel about a cynical London private eye drawn deep into the criminal underbelly while on a case. (more…)