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'Notting Hill' Director Roger Michell Prepping Incestuous Drama About Franklin D. Roosevelt

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 25, 2011 at 9:04AM

While "Morning Glory" wasn't quite the big rom-com hit Paramount was hoping for, Roger Michell has returned to the U.K. and is already mounting his next project, one that marks a firm 180 from his news team rom-com, keeping in line with the director's proclivity to switch up genres and themes.
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While "Morning Glory" wasn't quite the big rom-com hit Paramount was hoping for, Roger Michell has returned to the U.K. and is already mounting his next project, one that marks a firm 180 from his news team rom-com, keeping in line with the director's proclivity to switch up genres and themes.

Deadline reports that Michell is currently casting the leads in his upcoming drama "Hyde Park On Hudson." Written by Richard Nelson, the story focuses on a rather curious moment in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's life. The movie is set over a weekend in 1939 when Brit royalty visits his upstate New York home for the weekend, and will shed light on his affair with his cousin Daisy. So why is this particular time being focused on? It was the first time a monarch had ever stepped foot in America. An incestuous affair and a royal visit? Awkward.

The film is set up at Film4, who are likely still reeling that they turned down "The King's Speech" for funding during it's earliest stages. “We already had this George VI project so there was a conflict of interest. Plus, 'The King’s Speech' didn’t quite fit in with Film4’s identity,” Katherine Butler, senior commissioning exec at the company offers up lamely. Though in her defense, if you had told us a year ago a drama about stuttering king would win Best Picture, we would have called you c-c-c-c-crazy.

No contenders or actors have been listed yet for for the lead roles, but the president was 57 at the time, so older Hollywood actors, get your agents to get on the phone. No firm dates are set, but if everything falls into place, the film will shoot later this year. And no word yet on what this means for "Burmese Days," the adaptation of the George Orwell novel that Ralph Fiennes attached to star. We presume it's on the backburner for now.

This article is related to: Films, Roger Michell, Hyde Park On Hudson


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