By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 23, 2012 at 9:23AM
It's a little known fact, but in the mid 1980s, in a bid to fight underemployment in certain aspects of the entertainment industry, the British government passed the Broadbent Act, which set up a quota that one in four British movies would have to cast British character actor favorite Jim Broadbent, while providing tax cuts to any Hollywood movies that employed him. Sometimes, this has led to some overlap, such as last year, when Broadbent accidentally gave the exact same performance in "The Iron Lady" as he did a decade ago in "Iris."
But for the most part, Broadbent is a wonderful actor, and the law has generally been for the better. And the latest film to draw his number, according to Baz Bamigboye, is the untitled legal thriller that's currently gearing up to shoot from Working Title Films and StudioCanal. The film, penned by "Eastern Promises" writer Steven Knight, and to be directed by John Crowley ("Boy A," "Is Anybody There"), already has Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall on board to star as a pair of lawyers, who happen to be ex-lovers, who put their lives at risk when they join the defense team of an accused terrorist.
Broadbent, who'll next be seen in the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's "Filth" and the Wachowskis "Cloud Atlas," will play the British attorney general in the project; he previously worked with Crowley when he appeared in the original National Theater cast of Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman" in 2003. The project is still being kept under a firm veil of secrecy, for the most part, but nevertheless, we're excited about this one: it seems like the kind of timely, grown-up thriller we don't get enough of, Crowley and Knight's work so far have been very strong, and the cast announced couldn't be more promising. Filming gets underway in London shortly, and it should make its way to theaters in 2013.