It’s going to be a gay old time on the set of Noel this summer, with Chris Colfer and Ian McKellen teaming up for a biopic of the legendary Noel Coward. Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce will also star, according to Screen Daily.
The film will follow Coward’s early life and inspirations, which led him to become the famously flamboyant raconteur and writer behind plays like Blithe Spirit, Private Lives and Hayfever, scripts such as Brief Encounter and songs like Mad Dogs And Englishmen. He was also an actor, perhaps most famously playing Mr. Bridger in The Italian Job.
Coward was gay, although as with most people of his era (he lived from 1899 to 1973) this was never mentioned while he was alive, although it was obvious and even Noel himself once observed ‘There are still a few old ladies in Worthing who don’t know.’ He also encouraged his secretary to write a frank biography which was to be published after he died.
This will be set before all that, although are no exact details on what period of his life the movie will cover. Colfer takes the role of Coward (let’s hope he’s been practicing his posh English actor, as Noel had a very distinctive voice), but it’s now known who McKellen, Redgrave and Pryce will be.
Martin Sherman wrote the script, who has a good pedigree with gay-themed project, having written Bent. Joe Stephenson (Chicken) will direct.