Judi Dench to star as Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears drama

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Judi Dench is set to play Queen Victoria for the second time in drama Victoria & Abdul.

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The Oscar-winning actor will reunite with director Stephen Frears for the project. It will be their third film together after Mrs Henderson Presents and Philomena.

The drama will be based on Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant, and the screenplay will come from Billy Elliott’s Lee Hall.

It’s the true story of the unlikely friendship between the monarch and a young clerk who travelled from India to participate in the golden jubilee. As the pair grow closer, she begins to change her world view. He became a replacement for her confidante John Brown. Their friendship was brought to the big screen in 1997 in drama Mrs Brown, for which Dench received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Victoria.

Frears’ most recent film was period comedy Florence Foster Jenkins, which starred Meryl Streep as a socialite with ambitions to sing. Dench is next to be seen in the long-delayed romance Tulip Fever, also starring Alicia Vikander and Christophe Waltz, and Tim Burton’s fantasy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Benjamin Lee, for theguardian.com on Friday 17th June 2016 11.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010