Christopher Plummer Recreates Tony-Winnning Barrymore Turn in Film; Will Go Wide Following Canadian Screenings
By Kenneth Jones
The film "Barrymore," starring 2012 Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer in the role that won him a Tony Award, will be shown at select cinemas in Canada beginning in May 2012 — and in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries in October 2012.
Directed and adapted by Érik Canuel, the film is based on the 1997 solo-actor Broadway play by William Luce. The film about the American stage and film star also features John Plumpis in the role of "Frank, the Prompter," an off-stage voice in the play.
In 2011, for the film, Plummer recreated his performance for multiple high-definition cameras, filmed over seven days on location and on the stage at the Elgin Theater in Toronto.
"Barrymore" is set in 1942. A member of one of America's major theatrical and movie dynasties, Barrymore is no longer a leading box-office star. "The film finds Barrymore reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess," according to production notes. "He has rented a grand, old theatre to rehearse for a backer's audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III. It leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life."
"Barrymore" is presented by New York-based alternative content distributors BY Experience and executive producers Steve Kalafer and Peter LeDonne. The 90-minute film is produced by Garth H. Drabinsky, who was the play's producer in the late 1990s.
The picture premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2011. In February, Plummer (widely known for the film version of The Sound of Music) won the Academy Award for his work in the film "Beginners."
Plummer's film credits include "Stage Struck," "The Man Who Would Be King," "Battle of Britain," "Waterloo," "Fall of The Roman Empire," "Star Trek VI," "Twelve Monkeys," the 1965 Best Picture Oscar winner "The Sound of Music," "A Beautiful Mind," "Man in the Chair," "Must Love Dogs," "National Treasure," "Syriana" and "Inside Man."
Raised in Montreal, Plummer began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English and played Cymbeline under the great Russian director Theodore Komisarjevsky. After Eva Le Galliene gave him his New York debut (1954) he went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway and London's West End, winning accolades on both sides of the Atlantic. His first Tony Award was for the musical Cyrano. He earned seven Tony nominations, his latest for his King Lear (2004) and for his Clarence Darrow in Inherit the Wind (2007). In 2011, he starred to critical acclaim as Prospero in Des McAnuff’s production of The Tempest at Canada's Stratford Festival, which was subsequently filmed and exhibited across Canada. Plummer received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in September 2011.
Plummer was recently seen in director David Fincher's American remake of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," playing patriarch Henrik Vanger. Plummer's life is recounted in his autobiographical memoir, "In Spite of Myself."
John Plumpis has been associated with Barrymore since 1998, touring the play across the U.S. and in Canada.
For participating venues and ticket on-sale information about "Barrymore," visit www.barrymorethefilm.com.
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