Eyre (Mary Poppins, "Stage Beauty") directs the film from Fox Searchlight Pictures, which hits theatres Dec. 27. Scott Rudin and Robert Fox produce.
"When Sheba Hart (Blanchett) joins St. George's as the new art teacher, Barbara Covett (Dench) senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret," reads production notes on the work, billed as "a story of loneliness, loyalty, envy and love."
Marber, known for such stage plays as Dealer's Choice, found success in film with the screen version of Closer (which starred Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Jude Law.) His Howard Katz will make its American debut Off-Broadway this season at the Laura Pels Theatre with Alfred Molina starring.
Blanchett recently starred in Hedda Gabler, which played New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music. A Sydney Theatre Company veteran of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Timothy Daly's Kafka Dances and David Mamet's Oleanna, Blanchett's film career was launched with her roles in "Paradise Road" opposite Glenn Close, "Oscar and Lucinda" opposite Ralph Fiennes, and her lauded (and Oscar-nominated) performance in "Elizabeth." Opting to return to the stage, she then starred in a London staging of David Hare's Plenty.
Dame Judi Dench starred in Peter Hall’s revival of Noël Coward's Hay Fever in London. The actress appeared in David Hare’s Breath of Life and Kaufman and Ferber's The Royal Family on the same stage (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). Stateside, she earned a Tony Award for Amy's View. She is also known for her work in the films "Shakespeare in Love," "Iris," "Mrs Henderson Presents," "Pride & Prejudice" and a number of James Bond films as M. An acclaimed British star, Nighy is known for his film work on such movies as "Love Actually," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" and "The Constant Gardener" as well as the lauded HBO film "The Girl in the Café." He previously starred in David Hare's A Map of the World and Skylight. Other stage credits include Pravda, King Lear, Arcadia, Blue/Orange, Betrayal, A Kind of Alaska and The Seagull.
For more information, visit www.foxsearchlight.com.