Eddie Marsan Plans Directorial Debut with Shakespearean ‘Pell Mell’
British character actor Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes, Red Riding Trilogy) will be the latest to retell Shakespeare with his planned directorial debut, Pell Mell. According to Marsan, who spoke to Screen Junkies during while promoting Tyrannosaur at TIFF, said Mell will be “Shakespeare’s Richard III set in 1960's London”. While the film is still in the early stages of financing and casting, Marsan is “very excited” about making the big move behind the camera (though he will likely act in the film as well). In fact, it was one of his fellow British actors turned writer/directors that encouraged him to change hat. Read on!
Mike Leigh, who directed Marsan in both Vera Drake and Happy Go Lucky, is the one we have to thank for Marsan's new venture into directing. Aside from Leigh, the actor has worked with some of Hollywood's best directors including Martin Scorsese, Alejandro González Iñárritu, J.J. Abrams, and Guy Ritchie just to name a few so hopefully he's picked up a few pointers here and there. This will be his first delve into the world of Shakespeare, though the repurposing of the playwright's works is not a new concept in his career as Marsan appeared in 2008's Me and Orson Welles , which told the story of Orson Welles and the legendary 1937 Mercury Theatre performance of Julius Caesar set in Fascist Italy.
How and why Pell Mell will be adapted for the mod '60s of London is unknown as the point. But The Playlist did pick up on the fact that the film derives its title from the famous line “March on, ioine brauelie, let us to it pell mell, If not to heaven then hand in hand in hell.” So do with that what you will. Aside from his anticipation to direct, Marsan also has quite the year or two ahead of him on the acting side with Steven Spielberg's War Horse, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes sequel, Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Killer, and Snow White and the Huntsman. Production on Pell Mell is expected to commence sometime next year, with Peter Carlton (Submarine, Four Lions) and Robin Gutch (Death of a President) producing.