Helen Mirren joins Russell Brand in 'Arthur'

Posted by annielicious - Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

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Remake of 1981 comedy is set up at Warner Bros.

By Borys Kit - http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/cont-ent_display/news/e3i3c46fd70101741ede00e-9a689509e9f3

April 22, 2010, 03:28 PM ET

Updated: April 22, 2010, 03:56 PM ET

hr/photos/stylus/136255-helen mirren russell brand 341.jpg

Helen Mirren and Russell Brand

Two extremes of British classes may be about to collide head on.

The grand dame of acting, Helen Mirren, is in negotiations to star opposite the one-time stand-up duke of debauchery Russell Brand in "Arthur," Warner Bros.' remake of the 1981 comedy, with Brand stepping into the role originated by Dudley Moore.

Larry Brezner is producing with Kevin McCormick and Chris Bender.

The original movie centered on a boozy playboy who is set to inherit a fortune if he marries an heiress his family thinks will make something out of him. However, he falls in love with a working-class woman and turns to his valet for help when his family makes him choose between money and love.

In the original, Arthur's foil was his valet, portrayed by John Gielgud, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance. In the new movie, the part has been reconstructed as that of Arthur's longtime nanny. The movie is eyeing a July start in New York.

Peter Baynham has written the screenplay for the remake, which is being overseen by Sarah Schechter for the studio.

Scott Kroopf, J.C. Spink, Brand and Nik Linnen are exec producing.

Mirren, repped by CAA, has five films in the can, including "Love Ranch," directed by husband Taylor Hackford and being released by E1 in June, and "Red," a comic book action movie also starring Bruce Willis, due in October. She also has "The Debt" and "The Tempest," both from Miramax and whose releases are up in air because of the potential sale of the Disney division.

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