Deadline is exclusively reporting that Ian McKellen, Gemma Arterton, Mark Strong, Lesley Manville, Romola Garai, Ben Barnes and Alfred Enoch have signed up to star in the period thriller The Critic, which is based on Anthony Quinn’s classic novel Curtain Call.
Set in 1934 London, the film follows Jimmy Erskine (Ian McKellen), the most feared drama critic in town – with actress Nina Land (Gemma Arterton) determined to win his favour. When Jimmy finds himself in the crosshairs of his newspaper’s new owner, David Brooke (Mark Strong), Nina becomes entangled in a dangerous web of blackmail, deceit and murder.
The script is written by Patrick Marber, with Anand Tucker directing as production is currently underway in and around London. The film is being fully financed and produced by BKStudios, with owner Bill Kenwright producing, and CEO David Gilbery serving as executive producer. Jolyon Symonds, who originated and developed the project, is also producing alongside Kenwright. The film is also being co-produced by Fearless Minds and Seven Stories. Mark Gordon, Tom Butterfield and Harry White (Culmination Productions), and Naomi George (BKStudios) also serve as executive producers.