Dame Maggie Smith is driving her van to the big screen.
The Oscar-winning actress will reprise her role in a film adaptation of the West End stage hit "The Lady in the Van," a dramatization of writer Alan Bennett's memoir. Smith plays Miss Shepherd, "an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who 'temporarily' parked her broken down van in Bennett's London driveway... and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years."
Alex Jennings will play the Bennett character, as well as his alter ego, AB.
The film, which is being distributed by Tom Rothman's TriStar Productions with investment coming from the BBC. It will be directed by Nicholas Hytner, who who previously worked with Bennett on "The Madness of King George" and "The History Boys." Damian Jones ("The Iron Lady," "Belle") and Kevin Loader ("Venus," "In the Loop") will produce along with Hytner.
"'The Crucible,' 'The Madness of King George' and 'The History Boys' are among the films in my career of which I am the most proud," Rothman said in a statement. "Nick is rarely gifted and the chance to work with him and Alan again is sweet indeed. They make brilliant things. And Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings bring such intelligence to glorious life."