Pathe and BBC Films havefinalised their long-anticipated deal to board Mrs Henderson Presents,Stephen Frears' hotly-awaited upcoming production.

The Heyman HoskinsProductions title is to start principal photography in September starring JudiDench and Bob Hoskins.

Pathe Distribution willdistribute in the UK and France, while Pathe Pictures International will sellthe film worldwide.

This script is written byTony award nominee Martin Sherman and reunites Frears with his DangerousLiaisons producer Norma Heyman. Hoskins will also produce, along withformer head of film at Channel 4, DavidAukin.

"Fullcredit for Bob for having found this project, David for his magnificent helpand support and Martin who immediately saw the potential and delivered a trulybrilliant script," Heyman said. "Pathe and BBC Films were the first people weshowed it to and they immediately came on board. We have to thank them fortheir unconditional support."

Set in pre-World War IILondon, the film tells the true-life story of eccentric Windmill Theatrefounder Laura Henderson, played by Dench, and her formidable theatre manager,Vivian Van Damm, played by Hoskins.

Aiming to win back musichall audiences lured away by the advent of talking pictures, the argumentativepair take advantage of a legal loophole allowing the theatre to show entirelynude models on stage - provided they didn't move a muscle.

"Thescreenplay of Mrs Henderson Presents provides a perfect blend of humourand emotion," said Francois Ivernel, managing director of Pathe UK. "No oneother than Stephen Frears could do justice to this material"

"We are delighted tocontinue our association with Stephen Frears after Dirty Pretty Things,"said David Thompson, head of BBC Films. "This is a fresh, funny, wicked script- and moving too. It throws a spotlight on a fascinating story that has neverbeen told."