Filming is underway on a new big screen version of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
Leslie and Dan Stevens head up an all-star cast which also includes Isla Fisher (The Beach Bum, Confessions of a Shopaholic), Julian Rhind-Tut (Rush, Stardust), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness, Delicious), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), James Fleet (Outlander, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Judi Dench (Philomena, Skyfall).
Described as “a riotous reimagining” of Coward’s classic comedy, the film is being produced by Fred Films, Powder Keg Pictures, British Lion Films, Align Pictures and Protagonist Pictures and will be distributed in the UK by Studiocanal.
Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Stevens) is struggling with catastrophic writer’s block and a stressful deadline for his first screenplay. His picture-perfect second wife Ruth (Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focussed in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood.
Charles’ desperate search for inspiration leads him to invite Madame Arcati (Dench), a medium recently exposed as a fraud, to perform a séance in their home.
They all get more than they bargained for when Arcati accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife: the fiery and jealous Elvira (Leslie Mann) who embarks on a mission to kill Charles so she can spend eternity with him which leads to an increasingly comical and deadly love triangle.
Director Edward Hall comments, “I am delighted to be starting principal photography on this new adaptation of BLITHE SPIRIT.
“The cast and team that have gathered together to realise this colourful and original comedy are testament to the enduring appeal of Noel Coward’s unique story.
“Elegant, escapist and anarchic, I hope it will lift cinemagoers spirits and leave the troubles of the world behind for a moment as we enjoy afterlife turbulence of a very different kind…”
Anna Marsh, Executive Vice President International Distribution of STUDIOCANAL and UK Managing Director, confirms: “We are so delighted to have acquired Blithe Spirit. for the UK market.
“I look forward to Edward Hall’s reimagining of a Noel Coward classic comedy and bringing this to audiences across the country next year. It’s wonderful to be on board as production starts this week and with a first-class filmmaking team and cast in place.”
Vanessa Saal, Managing Director, Sales & Distribution at Protagonist, adds: “We were confident this timeless comedy paired with a stellar cast would entice buyers and are absolutely thrilled to return from Cannes with such strong partners.
I We can’t wait to see these characters come back to life through Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher, and Judi Dench!”