Bill Murray, Laura Linney to Star in ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’

Academy Award nominees Bill Murray and Laura Linney star in the historical tale “Hyde Park on Hudson,” which began filming this week in the U.K. for co-producers and co-financiers Focus Features and Film4. BAFTA-Award winner Roger Michell (Film4’s “Venus”) is directing from a screenplay by Richard Nelson.

Focus will release “Hyde Park on Hudson” in the second half of 2012. Focus holds worldwide rights — excluding U.K. free-TV rights, which are held by Film4 — to the movie. Filming is taking place in the U.K. on the Free Range Films/Daybreak Pictures production. Kevin Loader and David Aukin are producing the feature with Michell. Focus executive vice president, European production Teresa Moneo is supervising the movie.

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

    In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (played by Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams of “Hanna”) host the King and Queen of England (played by Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York — the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Linney), Franklin’s distant cousin, neighbor, and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy — and through her, for us all — a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.

The cast of Hyde Park on Hudson also includes Elizabeth Wilson, Elizabeth Marvel and Eleanor Bron. Simon Bowles (“Centurion”) is the film’s production designer; Dinah Collin (“The Ghost Writer”) is the costume designer. The cinematographer is Lol Crawley (“Four Lions”).

Schamus said, “Film-goers will be intrigued by this unique exploration of the all-too-human side of one of history’s great men. Roger is an actor’s director who will guide Bill and Laura through their playing of Richard’s script, which beautifully encompasses satire and drama.”

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