Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman To Star In Jay Roach Movie


Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) have been tapped to star in The Roses, a reimagining of the 1989 classic The War of the Roses, which Jay Roach (Bombshell) will direct for Searchlight Pictures.

Currently in development, the dark comedy’s logline is as follows: Life seems easy for picture-perfect couple Theo (Cumberbatch) and Ivy (Colman): successful careers, great kids, an enviable sex life. But underneath the façade of the perfect family is a tinderbox of competition and resentments that’s ignited when Theo’s professional dreams come crashing down.

Directed by Danny DeVito and starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, the original film adaptation of The War of the Roses was released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1989, garnering a BAFTA and three Golden Globe nominations, including for Best Motion Picture, among other accolades.

Tony McNamara (Poor Things) has scripted Searchlight’s new take on the novel by Warren Adler. Cumberbatch produces under his SunnyMarch banner, along with Leah Clarke and Adam Ackland, who have been in development on the project since 2017, as well as Colman, Ed Sinclair and Tom Carver for South of the River, Roach, and Michelle Graham.

Jonathan R. Adler and Michael Adler, from Adler Entertainment Trust, are executive producing as the first project under their company’s two-year first-look deal with the studio. Paul Hoffman negotiated the overall deal on behalf of the studio, with Jeff Silberman of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano for Adler Entertainment Trust. Searchlight VP of Production Richard Ruiz and Director of Development & Production Pete Spencer are overseeing the project, reporting into Searchlight Production Heads DanTram Nguyen and Katie Goodson-Thomas.

The Roses is a wildly funny, bigger than life, and yet deeply human story,” said Searchlight President Matthew Greenfield. “With Jay at the helm, and Benedict and Olivia and Tony, we have a dream team bringing it to life.”

“We are thrilled to be working on this very special film with such an incredible team,” stated SunnyMarch’s Ackland. “We have been long admirers of Jay’s work and his vision and passion to tell this story is incredibly inspiring.”

Shared South of the River’s Colman and Sinclair, “We have been cooking this up with our friends at SunnyMarch for some time, and it has been an absolute thrill to see it spring into life under Jay’s passionate and thoughtful guidance. He and Tony are a match made in cinematic comedy heaven.”

Added Adler Entertainment Trust CEO Jonathan R. Adler, “Working with our partners at Searchlight Pictures in this reimagining of the classic movie is a dream come true. We are delighted to continue the legacy of our father’s brilliant work and introduce The War of the Roses to a new generation.”

Most recently seen in Wes Anderson’s Oscar-winning short The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, based on a story by Roald Dahl — as well as the Anderson-Dahl short Poison — Cumberbatch’s recent feature credits include The End We Start From and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Up next, he’ll be seen starring in the Netflix series Eric and Justin Kurzel’s sci-fi thriller Morning.

Coming off of performances in Wonka and Wicked Little Letters, Colman has also been seen of late on series like Heartstopper, Secret Invasion, The Crown, The Bear, and Great Expectations. Upcoming projects for the Oscar-winning star of The Favourite include Paddington in Peru, Girl from the North Country, and the twisted romance Wicker with Dev Patel.

Coming off of the Apple series High Desert, which he directed and exec produced, Roach’s most recent features include Bombshell, Trumbo, and All the Way for HBO. Previously, he’s been named as the director for the upcoming Ocean’s Eleven prequel reteaming Barbie’s Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

Coming off of his second Oscar nomination for his script for Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, McNamara earned his first nom for 2018’s period dark comedy The Favourite, also helmed by Lanthimos. He’s otherwise best known for creating Hulu’s The Great, which ran for three seasons.

Cumberbatch is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant, UTA, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; Colman by CAA, United Agents, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Roach by UTA, Mosaic, and Behr Abramson Levy Johnson; and McNamara by HLA Management in Australia, UTA, Sugar23, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.


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