The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reports that Natalie Dormer will be starring opposite Mel Gibson and Sean Penn in the big screen adaptation of Simon Winchester’s book, The Professor and the Madman.
The Professor and the Madman looks into the true story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, a tale that delves into madness, genius and two obsessive men who changed the course of literary history.
Mel Gibson will be playing the role of Professor James Murray, who in 1857 set about compiling the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. Sean Penn, who is technically still in negotiations for the role, could be playing Dr. W.C Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries but also was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Natalie Dormer will be playing a widow whose husband was killed by Penn and whose family he wants to help, where in turn a complicated romance ensues.
Apocalypto writer Farhad Safinia is set to pen the screenplay and also direct the film, tweaking on an earlier draft penned by Todd Komarnicki and John Boorman. Mel Gibson will be serving as Producer alongside Bruce Davey. Principal Photography for The Professor and the Madman begins in late September.