Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams and Simon Callow have joined the cast of Stephen Frears’ period drama “Victoria and Abdul” which has started filming in Britain for BBC Films and Working Title Films.
Judi Dench plays British monarch Queen Victoria, having previously played the monarch in 1997’s “Mrs. Brown,” and will star opposite Bollywood actor Ali Fazalas playing Abdul Karim. The story will deal with the queen’s unexpected friendship, in the later years of her reign, with a young Indian clerk who had traveled to Britain to participate in the queen’s 1887 Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”) penned the script based on Shrabani Basu’s novel “Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.” Ruth McCabe, Julian Wadham, Fenella Woolgar, Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar and Tim Piggott-Smith also star in the film which is in production across Scotland, India, and England including Osborne House on the Isle Of Wight.
Focus will release the film in the U.S. in September next year.