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Take a look at Sir Ian McKellen in ‘The Critic’

Sir Ian McKellen returns to the big screen with the new film The Critic. The trailer for the film has just landed.

The reimagining of Anthony Quinn’s novel Curtain Call centers on Jimmy Erskine (Ian McKellen), the Daily Chronicle’s most famous and feared theatre critic of the age; David Brooke (Mark Strong), with whom he clashes after recently inheriting the paper; and a young actress, Nina Land (Gemma Arterton) who is devastated by Jimmy’s recent negative review of her.  

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As the three become entangled in a whodunnit wrapped in a Faustian pact, their strange triangle winds tighter and tighter to devastating effect for all those caught in the deadly web of blackmail and betrayal. 

The film had its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2023 but will be widely available from 14th September this year.

The film is written by Patrick Marber, best known for his play and film Closer. It’s based on a 2015 novel by Anthony Quinn which was set in Britain in the 1930’s when homosexuality was still illegal.

The film was originally announced back in 2020 with Colin Firth, Simon Russell Beale, Paapa Essiedu in the cast, but delays in production led to many of the parts being recast. It’s McKellen’s first major film role since he appeared in The Good Liar and Cats in 2019.

He’s joined by Mark Strong, who is one of the UKs hardest working actors with a long list of credits including Zero Dark Thirty, Kingman: The Secret Service, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and RocknRolla.

Gemma Arterton, who had a memorable starring role in the British TV series Funny Woman in 2023, is also in the cast alongside Ramola Garai, Lesley Manville, Claire Skinner and a few more recognisable faces.

Ben Barnes, known for his roles in Westworld and The Chronicles of Narnia is also in the cast, as is Rebecca Gathings who plays Sister Veronica in Call the Midwife.

The project is helmed by director Anand Ticker who previously created Hillary and Jackie, Shopgirl, And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Red Riding: The Year of Lord 1983, and Leap Year.

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