Jessica Chastain & Al Pacino to Lead New Shakespeare Film LEAR REX

The film begins shooting this summer in Los Angeles.

By: Feb. 28, 2024
Jessica Chastain & Al Pacino to Lead New Shakespeare Film LEAR REX
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Jessica Chastain and Al Pacino are starring in a new film adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Deadline reports that Bernard Rose will write and direct Lear, Rex…, a new adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play. Pacino is attached to play the title character, with Chastain as Goneril. Further casting will be announced at a later date.

In the new film, an aging King divides his land between his three daughters in order to prevent future conflict. However, he excludes his loving younger daughter and instead trusts her malevolent sisters, who strip him of his power and condemn him to a wretched wasteland of horror and insanity.

The film is produced by Barry Navidi, which marks his fifth collaboration with Pacino after The Merchant of Venice (2004), Wilde Salomé (2011), and Salomé (2013) and the Johnny Depp-directed Modi (2024).

Chastain previously starred alongside Pacino on stage in Salome, which led to her first film role in the Pacino-directed Wilde Salome.

A Shakespeare enthusiast, Pacino directed and starred in Looking for Richard (1996), a documentary about the play Richard III, the lead role of which Pacino had earlier portrayed on stage in 1977. He has also acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film adaptation and 2010 stage production of The Merchant of Venice. He made his filmmaking debut with Looking for Richard. Since 1994, he has been the joint president of The Actors Studio.

Chastain made her Broadway-debut in the 2012 revival of The Heiress and returned in 2023 in A Doll's House. Chastain’s starring role in 2021 as the incomparable Tammy Faye in The Eyes of Tammy Faye earned her the award for Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and the Academy Awards. 

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos