Bill Murray and Laura Linney star in the historical tale which is being co-produced and co-financed by Focus Features and Film4.

Roger Michell is directing from a screenplay by Richard Nelson and Focus plans to release in the US in the second half of 2012. The company holds worldwide rights excluding UK free-TV, held by Film4.

The Free Range Films/Daybreak Pictures production takes place in New York on the eve of World War Two as the British monarchy visits US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Murray). Despite domestic shenanigans a close association between the countries ensues. Linney plays an FDR confidante who observes the visit. Olivia Williams and Samuel West also star.

Kevin Loader and David Aukin are producing with Michell. Focus evp of European production Teresa Moneo is supervising the project.

“Filmgoers will be intrigued by this unique exploration of the all-too-human side of one of history’s great men,” Focus CEO James Schamus said. “Roger is an actor’s director who will guide Bill and Laura through their playing of Richard’s script, which beautifully encompasses satire and drama.”

“This promises to be an extraordinary film; we have our dream cast and a great crew on board, we’re partnering anew with our friends at Focus, and we’re working once again with the exceptional Roger Michell,” Film4’s Tessa Ross added. “What a privilege for Film4 to be on this journey with them all.”