‘Philomena’s’ Steve Coogan to Play Scottish Lawyer James Boswell in New Movie

Toronto 2014: Gregor Jordan will direct Highland Film Group’s adaptation of the acclaimed West End play

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“Philomena” star Steve Coogan has signed on to play Scottish lawyer James Boswell in Highland Film Group’s adaptation of the West End play “Boswell For the Defence,” the company announced Sunday.

Gregor Jordan (“Buffalo Soldiers”) will direct from a script by Patrick Edgeworth, who also wrote the play. Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman will produce, while Armyan Bernstein of Beacon Pictures will executive produce. The project is represented by Highland Film Group internationally. Production is set for 2015.

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“Boswell For the Defence” tells the true story of how James Boswell, in the twilight of his career and life, took on an impossible case — to save the life of the convict Mary Bryant from the gallows. It was a case no one else wanted or cared about and Boswell was an unlikely hero but he managed to find his past brilliance long enough to make a difference.

“Whether it be ‘Lincoln’ or ‘Thatcher’, bringing a historical figure to life is always a challenge, but Steve’s extraordinary ability to blend humour and pathos make him the perfect artist to bring such a complex character like Boswell to the screen. We are excited to see him make this role his own,” Pennell and Chasman said in a joint statement.

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“We fell in love with the script, and combined with Gregor’s vision and Coogan’s talent – create the complete package which will be sure to resonate with buyers and appeal to global audiences,” said Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier. “Plus we are looking forward to collaborating with talented producers such as Steve and Mark.”

Coogan is represented by CAA and Independent Talent Group.