EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Helen Mirren is set to star as celebrated author Patricia Highsmith in new movie Switzerland, whose plot will mirror one of the Tom Ripley novels for which the American novelist was most famous.
Filmmaker and celebrated music video director Anton Corbijn, whose credits include Control, A Most Wanted Man and The American, is aboard to direct the movie, which FilmNation will be launching for world sales at next week’s EFM.
In Switzerland, Highsmith’s late life solitude in the Swiss Alps is interrupted by Edward, a young literary agent who is sent by the writer’s relentless publishing company to convince her to pen one last novel in her wildly popular Ripley series (which includes the classic The Talented Mr Ripley). Highsmith uses her famously macabre imagination to scare Edward away, but before they know it a collaboration ensues, leaving the world they’ve constructed indistinguishable from their own.
Producers are Gaby Tana (Philomena), Troy Lum (The Water Diviner) and Andrew Mason (The Water Diviner) for Brouhaha Entertainment and Jim Robison and Kurt Martin for Lunar Pictures. Filming is due to take place this year in Europe with additional casting underway.
Script comes from Melbourne based playwright, screenwriter and novelist Joanna Murray-Smith, based on her play of the same name. The film will mark the first narrative feature for Corbijn since 2015 biopic Life, starring Robert Pattinson.
Dubbed the “poet of apprehension”, American scribe Highsmith is best known for her psychological thrillers including the Ripley novels, Strangers On A Train and The Price Of Salt, which became Carol on screen. Her work has been adapted dozens of times for screen.
The Queen star Mirren is coming off Yellowstsone spinoff 1923 and will next be seen in Barbie, Fast X and Berlin Film Festival biopic Golda. Brouhaha is in production on Kate Winslet starrer Lee about Lee Miller and period drama Firebrand with Alicia Vikander and Jude Law.
The producers told us: “We were so taken by Joanna’s brilliant script and when we shared it with Anton Corbijn, he was immediately excited and shared our enthusiasm for this character-driven thriller. Anton has such a wonderful eye, and all of his films have powerful central performances, which makes him perfect for Switzerland, a story that is at its heart a thrilling sparring match between two beautifully drawn characters. We’re so excited to have the formidable Helen Mirren playing Patricia Highsmith: she will be perfect at encapsulating Highsmith’s icy threat and her blend of monstrosity and vulnerability.”
Added FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner: “Patricia Highsmith and Tom Ripley are box office gold. We are thrilled to work again with the amazing Anton Corbjin and our friends at Brouhaha in this smart, thrilling and seductive film. Audiences will love seeing Helen Mirren bring Highsmith to life.”
Mirren is repped by CAA. Corbijn is repped by Independent. Murray-Smith is repped by 42 MP.
The post Helen Mirren To Star As Patricia Highsmith In Ripley-Esque Thriller ‘Switzerland’ For Director Anton Corbijn & FilmNation: EFM Hot Package appeared first on Deadline.