Hugh Laurie will be stepping out of his TV-based comfort zone a little bit in the near future, as Deadline reports that the House actor will be starring in Mister Pip, under the direction of Andrew Adamson. The movie is an adaptation of the Lloyd Jones novel of the same name, and production is expected to begin in New Zealand next month. Eyeworks New Zealand, Agio Capital and Olympus Pictures are all financing, while UTA Independent Film Group will “put together the pieces.” Meanwhile, Focus Features International is handling the – you guessed it! – international rights.
Adamson is responsible for directing the first two films in both the Shrek and Narnia series, and this seems to be very different than those effects-heavy films. Laurie will be playing Mr. Watts, one of the story’s main leads. The plot of the book can be found below, thanks to Amazon:
“When the conflict between the natives and the invading redskin soldiers erupts on an unnamed tropical island in the early 1990s, 13-year-old Matilda Laimo and her mother, Dolores, are unified with the rest of their village in their efforts for survival. Amid the chaos, Mr. Watts, the only white local (he is married to a native), offers to fill in as the children’s schoolteacher and teaches from Dickens’s Great Expectations. The precocious Matilda, who forms a strong attachment to the novel’s hero, Pip, uses the teachings as escapism, which rankles Dolores, who considers her daughter’s fixation blasphemous. With a mixture of thrill and unease, Matilda discovers independent thought, and Jones captures the intricate, emotionally loaded evolution of the mother-daughter relationship.”
I’m not that fond of Adamson‘s past work as a director, but I also hold the opinion that Laurie is an excellent actor who can carry pretty much anything he’s in (just look at House). If nothing else, this will prove as a showcase for his talent, although I’m dissuaded by the fact that the whole thing just reeks of Oscar-bait. More or less, what I’m trying to get at here is that this is something I’ll probably never see. Sorry, Narnia guy.
Have you read the book upon which the film will be based? Is Laurie a good choice for a lead, and do you think Adamson could do the story justice?