A screen adaptation of RC Sherriff’s First World War play, Journey’s End, has been given the green light thanks to an intervention from Prince Andrew. And if rumour is to be believed, these three dapper gentlemen could be a part of it: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne.
According to the Sunday Times, the project which has been shelved several times over the years, has been rekindled ahead of the 100th anniversary of The Great War as it was known back then. It’s reported that Prince Andrew wrote to the current rights holder, Warner Brothers, and asked them to stand aside and allow a new film to be made, due to the significance of the centenary.
RC Sherriff‘s 1928 play is set among a group of British army infantry officers in the Saint-Quentin, Aisne trenches, during the final months of conflict in 1918. Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston are favourable choices to portray two of the main characters, with Eddie Redmayne also being touted for a role.
If they were to take on the roles, it wouldn’t be the first time the three of them tackled a project set in this conflict. Eddie starred in a BBC adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong. Meanwhile, Hiddleston and Cumberbatch both had significant roles in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of the play, War Horse. And Cumberbatch was in a BBC TV adaptation of the First World War novel, Parade’s End.
It’s been confirmed by producer Guy De Beaujeu of Fluidity Films that they are indeed ideal candidates for the roles, but admits that no one has been approached yet.
“Prince Andrew’s involvement forced Warner into doing some due diligence,” he told The Guardian. “They discovered that the rights [in the UK and Eire] had lapsed in 2008.”
“I felt like it was such an important thing for the UK in the centenary that we should have the rights back.” And naturally they want the best actors on board to make sure the tribute is of quality. “We want it to be as attractive to as many people as possible.”
Journey’s End will be directed by David Grindey who has previously directed the London and Broadway revivals of the stage version of Journey’s End.