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James Corden In Talks To Play Reality Show Opera Star Paul Potts In 'Devil Wears Prada' Director David Frankel's 'One Chance'

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by Oliver Lyttelton
April 20, 2012 9:21 AM
3 Comments
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British actor James Corden is the toast of Broadway at the moment. The 33-year-old, got his start in Mike Leigh's "All Or Nothing" and in the stage and film versions of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys," and became a household name in the U.K. after co-writing and starring in the hit sitcom "Gavin and Stacey." He's had ups and downs since then: starring vehicle "Lesbian Vampire Killers" was savaged, and supporting turns in Hollywood pictures like "Gulliver's Travels" and "The Three Musketeers" never quite helped him cross over to the U.S.

But in the last year he's found virtually nothing but praise, thanks to his starring role in the play "One Man, Two Guvnors," a contemporary updating of Carlo Goldoni's "Servant of Two Masters," by playwright Richard Bean. The play, and Corden in particular, received rave reviews when it debuted last summer at the National Theatre in London, went on to transfer to the West End, and this week, opened on Broadway with the original cast, where it again picked up glowing reviews.

And it looks like the heat behind it may finally make Corden a leading man, as Baz Bamigboye reports that the actor's in early talks to star in a biopic for The Weinstein Company and director David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada," the upcoming "Hope Springs"). All being well, Corden would star in "One Chance," a biopic of Paul Potts, a manager at a cellphone store who was launched to global fame after displaying his talents as an opera singer on "Britain's Got Talent" (the U.K. version of "America's Got Talent"). He went on to win the show, sing for the Queen, and sell millions of records around the world.

The film, which has a script from "The Bucket List" writer Justin Zackham, and is produced by Harvey Weinstein, Matthew Vaughn and Simon Cowell, among others, has been in the works for a while -- we've heard the names of Nick Frost and Toby Jones passed around for the part in the past -- but it looks like it's finally moving forward, after both Weinstein and Frankel saw Corden in "One Man, Two Guvnors" in London. After he finishes his run in the show in New York, the plan is for the project to shoot in October, so it sounds like we'll be seeing this in theaters at the end of 2013. Could Weinstein be planning an Oscar play for his new leading man?

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3 Comments

  • Marilyn | November 12, 2013 4:25 AMReply

    This is long overdue. By now the film has been shown at film festivals in the US and abroad. The movie has received applause from audiences as well as film critics. It's an amazing story of love and determination, with a lot of great music. Paul's voice is heard throughout.
    It's a great biopic. Liberties taken in the details do not detract from the overall film.

  • Connor | April 20, 2012 10:17 AMReply

    I'm iffy on this. I saw Paul's actual journey on Britain's Got Talent, so I can't see why this would make a good biopic. Plus, what about the Susan Boyle biopic ?

  • Marilyn | November 12, 2013 4:27 AM

    Believe me, Connor. You're going to enjoy this music. Susan Boyle does show tunes well, but this is truly a voice to remember.

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