The Weinstein Company Acquires Dustin Hoffman’s Directorial Debut

"Quartet" centers on a group of retired opera singers and stars Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon

The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. and Latin American rights to Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, "Quartet," the studio said Friday.

The comedy's cast list reads like a who's who of British thespians, with Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins all featured prominently.

The movie boasts a script by "The Pianist" screenwriter Ronald Harwood.

It tells the story of Reggie (Courtenay), Wilf (Connolly) and Cissy (Billy Collins) who reside in Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Each year they stage a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday, which also raises funds for the home. Reggie’s ex-wife Jean (Smith) arrives at the home and creates tension, playing the diva part but refusing to sing in the concert.

"We decided to give an up-and-coming first-timer a chance," TWC chief Harvey Weinstein said in a statement. "We’re excited to be working with Dustin on his directorial debut."

Hoffman has been largely focused on character roles of late, taking supporting parts in films like "Little Fockers" and "Barney's Version." He also starred in the ill-fated HBO race track drama "Luck," which was cancelled last March when three horses died. 

The deal was negotiated by HanWay Films Managing Director Thorsten Schumacher and CEO Jan Spielhoff, alongside WME Global’s Graham Taylor who co-repped the US rights. TWC senior vice president of Acquisitions Negeen Yazdi and business affairs executive Talia Houminer negotiated on behalf of TWC.