Judi Dench, Dan Stevens and Isla Fisher will lead the cast of Edward Hall’s Blithe Spirit, based on Noel Coward’s 1941 play.
London-based Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide rights on the project and has inked a series of early pre-sales on the title including Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), Spain (A Contracorriente Films), Airlines (Echo Lake Distribution), South Africa (Empire Entertainment), Middle East (Front Row), and Greece (Tanweer).
The feature will be a re-imagining of Coward’s comedy stage play, in which a best-selling crime novelist suffering from writer’s block struggles to finish his first screenplay. His quest for inspiration leads him to invite an eccentric mystic to his home to perform a séance. He gets more than he bargained when they inadvertently summon the spirit of his first wife.
The project will start shooting on June 17 in and around London. Producers are Fisherman’s Friends trio James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft, alongside Hilary Bevan Jones, Peter Snell and Tuni Pinnolis. The project is a Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures production in association with British Lion Films.
Producers Leonard and Moorcroft also wrote the screenplay with Piers Ashworth. Alongside Spring, the trio are also working on a feature film about Jamaican-born musician and chef Levi Roots, announced earlier this week.
Director Hall’s credits include period series Downton Abbey, which Screen Star of Tomorrow 2006 Stevens starred in, and 2012 TV movie Restless.
Coward’s Blithe Spirit was previously adapted for the screen by David Lean in 1945.