Saturday, February 17, 2007

Update #1: "The Young Victoria" Film

From the Daily Mail, February 16:

"Emily is Crowned Queen"
By Baz Bamigboye

The fast-rising London actress Emily Blunt is in discusssions to portray Queen Victoria in a film about how the monarch fell in love with Prince Albert. The 23-year-old actress has seen her career take off since she held her own opposite Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. One prominent critic hailed her performance as "a minor tour de force of smiling hostility."

Emily's skills were honed on stage, working with directors such as Peter Hall and Richard Eyre and thespians including Judi Dench. Ms Blunt has told me that working with Judi, in The Royal Family, was "like a masterclass." She and producer Graham King have talked several times to discuss the possibility of her portraying Queen Victoria and she has studied early drafts of the screenplay by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes.

King, who also produced Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated film The Departed, has hired Jean-Marc Valle to direct the film, which should begin production late this summer or early in the autumn. Regular readers of this column will recall (I hope!) that I first told you about this movie last year. I also revealed it was Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, who was the one who suggested to King that he should look into the idea of doing a film about the friendship, courtship and marriage of Victoria and Albert.

"The film will be full of the joys of young love," King said, adding: "There was a lot of passion in that relationship. I mean, they did have nine children!"

Scorsese will be a producer on the project and the Duchess of York will most likely receive an executive producer credit. King refused to comment on the casting, but told me he was "impressed" with Blunt.

It's no secret that whatever we may think of them, movie audiences are fascinated by our monarchy.

Victoria's great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II has been sublimely portrayed by Helen Mirren in The Queen, which has garnered six Academy Award nominations, including those for best actress and best picture - the two categories which it won at last weekend's Orange Baftas.

---end of Daily Mail article---

For a previous post on this topic, see February 11: New Film on Queen Victoria's Early Life in the Works; for a later post on this topic, see February 23: Update #2: "The Young Victoria" Film


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