Tony and Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Audience, The Queen) and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris, Moulin Rouge) will star in the upcoming art heist film, The Duke, co-written by Broadway’s Richard Bean.
Deadline reports that Bean, who wrote One Man, Two Guvnors and The Nap, and co-writer Clive Coleman will bring the story of thief Kempton Bunton to the screen with director Roger Michell (Blackbird). Bean and Coleman have worked together before on Young Marx, which premiered at Bridge Theatre in London in 2017.
Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, allegedly stole a Goya painting of The Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London in 1961, demanding the government offer free TV to the elderly as ransom. It took over 50 years for the truth of the heist to unfold. Broadbent will play Bunton opposite Mirren as his wife Dorothy.
The Duke is set to be distributed by Pathé in the U.K., France, and Switzerland in addition to handling sales around the world.
Producers on the project are Nicky Bentham for the U.K. banner Neon Films with Pathé, Ingenious Media, and Screen Yorkshire. Executive producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, and Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire.