When it opened at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2010, “Posh” helped to give a real boost to the careers of its young cast, with actors including Kit Harington (“Game Of Thrones”), Joshua McGuire (“The Hour”), Tom Mison (the upcoming “Sleepy Hollow” TV series) and David Dawson (“Luther”) all having gone on to great things after the fact. “An Education” director Lone Scherfig signed on to a film adaptation recently, and it looks like we might be seeing a movie cast that’s just as broad in talent, with a few rising names, and one massive one, apparently in various stages of talks to come on board.
According to the ever-on-the-money Baz Bamigboye, Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth are all in negotiations to star in the film, and while talks are at an earlier stage, “Twilight” megastar Robert Pattinson could potentially join them. Nurse, my ovaries! If the first three names don’t quite ring a bell yet, Irons is the son of legendary actor Jeremy Irons, who previously appeared in “Red Riding Hood,” and has “The Host” coming up shortly. Claflin has a couple of blockbusters under his belt already, with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Snow White & The Huntsman,” and has “The Hunger Games; Catching Fire” coming up later and the year. And Booth, who was one of our Actors On The Rise picks earlier in the week, starred in the TV version of “Great Expectations” recently, and has “Romeo & Juliet” and the Wachowski’s “Jupiter Ascending” on the way.
The play, and the film, revolves around a version of the Bullingdon Club, an Oxford University institution (not unlike a fraternity) which included current Prime Minister David Cameron and current Mayor of London Boris Johnson among its members, and which involves privileged idiots getting together, drinking themselves into oblivion and trashing restaurants. Wade’s play focuses on the members of the Riot Club, whose meeting in a country pub ends in tragedy, and we can see all four of the actors fitting in nicely into that kind of environment.
It sounds like Pattinson’s involvement is the least concrete; he’s still filming David Michod’s “The Rover,” and he has David Cronenberg’s “Maps To The Stars” and James Marsh’s “Hold On To Me” nominally on his slate, though lord knows what state they’re in in terms of financing. But a good piece of material, amid a strong ensemble, would be a smart move for the actor as he continues to try to escape the shadow of Edward Cullen. As Bamigboye suggests, the challenge here is going to be scheduling; the nature of the piece requires the cast to all be together round a dining table for much of the shoot, and all these guys are busy and in demand, so don’t be surprise if there’s mixing and matching with who sticks with the project. Filming is planned to get underway in May, so it shouldn’t be too long before we find out who’s able to fit it into their schedules, and “Posh” should eventually open in 2014