Nicholas Hytner, who directed the stage hit at the National Theatre, will stay on board for the film, as will most of the cast.
This is the second time Hytner will bring a stage collaboration with Bennett to the big screen. The first was 1994’s The Madness of King George which, despite studio bosses wanting Al Pacino for the lead, won the role’s creator Nigel Hawthorne an Oscar nomination and a British Academy Award. There have also been reports in the press that movie executives had wanted to replace some of the NT cast of The History Boys, but that Hytner and Bennett again stood firm.
There will be some new characters alluded to but not seen in the stage version. The cast will include Richard Griffiths, Stephen Campbell Moore, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison, Sacha Dhawan, Samuel Anderson, Dominic Cooper, Andrew Knott, Samuel Barnett, Russell Tovey, Jamie Parker and James Corden. Hytner, Kevin Loader and Damian Jones are down as producers.
And, a report in the Daily Mail newspaper has more details. Filming is due to start in the U.K. in early July 2005. The exterior for the school will be shot in Manchester, with the classroom scenes shot at a London school.
The History Boys attracted full houses and a host of awards during its National Theatre run (it’s due for a return with a new cast). Prizes include three Olivier Awards.