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Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Samuel Anderson and Frances de la Tour Join Film Adaptation of West End's THE LADY IN THE VAN

According to the Daily Mail, THE HISTORY BOYS stars Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Samuel Anderson and Frances de la Tour have signed on for the upcoming film adaptation of the West End's THE LADY IN THE VAN, starring Maggie Smith.

Tom Rothman's TriStar Productions and BBC Films are behind the movie version THE LADY IN THE VAN, Alan Bennett's adaptation of his commercial and critical West End hit, based on his own bestselling memoir.

Dame Maggie Smith ("Downton Abbey," the Harry Potter franchise) will reprise one of her most-loved stage roles for the big screen, under the direction of Nicholas Hytner.

The film tells the true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who "temporarily" parked her broken down van in Bennett's London driveway... and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years. Smith, who will play the singular Miss Shepherd, will be joined by Alex Jennings (The Queen), who will play both Bennett and, with some movie magic, his alter ego, AB.

Cooper has appeared onstage in the The History Boys in the West End, on Broadway, in Sydney and Hong Kong, as well as radio and film adaptations of the play. He has also starred in the National Theatre's adaptation of the His Dark Materials trilogy and Phedre. Among his other works are the Mamma Mia! movie, and the films The Duchess and An Education, plus Captain America, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Agent Carter and the upcoming Warcraft movie.

Corden, just announced as the future host of The Late Late Show on CBS, rose to fame in 2011's One Man, Two Guvnors, which transferred from the West End to Broadway and earned him the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. He starred alongside Cooper in the original London production of The History Boys. Corden will soon appear as 'The Baker' in the big screen adaptation of Into the Woods.

Anderson is another History Boys alum, also known for his work on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale and his role in BBC's Doctor Who.

Tony- and Olivier-winner De la Tour played 'Mrs. Lintott' in The History Boys in London and on Broadway (she earned the 2006 Tony for Best Featured Actress), and reprised her role in the 2006 film adaptation. She has also appeared on the big screen in the Harry Potter series and the small screen in Rising Damp, Vicious and Big School. She got her start with the RSC and has appeared in theatre productions throughout the UK, including Duet for One, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Brighton Beach Memoirs. She most recently appeared at the National in 2012's People.

THE LADY IN THE VAN will be Hytner's first directorial outing after ending his successful decade as the head of the British National Theatre. He and Bennett previously collaborated on the films of Bennett's The Madness of King George and The History Boys. Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, Belle) and Kevin Loader (Venus, In the Loop) will produce, along with Hytner. Miles Ketley and Charles Moore will serve as executive producers. Principal photography begins in October in London, with release anticipated for the second half of 2015.

Bennett, a celebrated playwright, screenwriter, actor and author, is considered a national literary treasure in England. Over the course of his more than 50-year career, he has won, or been nominated for, every major writing award that exists in film, television and theatre, including an Academy Award, multiple BAFTAs, Tonys, and Oliviers.

Hytner, who has made four previous films with Rothman, is among the preeminent theatrical creators of his generation, having directed such standouts as Miss Saigon, Stuff Happened, and One Man, Two Guvnors. At the National, he commissioned the breakout hits Warhorse, The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night, Jerry Springer, The Opera and Danny Boyle's Frankenstein. In addition to Madness and History Boys, his filmography also includes Wendy Wasserstein's The Object of My Affection and Arthur Miller's The Crucible, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. He has won multiple Olivier and Tony Awards, and a BAFTA.

TriStar won the film rights in a competitive situation and will distribute worldwide, with the BBC taking the first television window in its territory, and making an additional investment in the negative. Peter Taylor, Managing Director, Sony Pictures Releasing International (UK), met with the filmmakers and outlined plans for the UK market, where the property is iconic.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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