The story of playwright, raconteur and controversial figure Oscar Wilde has been recounted before on the big screen, most notably in 1997’s Wilde, which saw Stephen Fry in the lead. Now Rupert Everett is aiming to get his own take on the man’s story into cinemas, writing, directing and starring in The Happy Prince.
Everett has rounded up a great cast that includes such British stalwarts as Colin Firth, Edward Fox, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson. We assume the latter is apparently contractually obliged to appear in every film about Wilde, since he’s also in the 1997 effort.
The Happy Prince is described as a comedy with tragic undertones that follows Wilde’s final days and has the author / genius observing his own failure with his trademark brand of wit and ironic distance. It’s far from Everett’s first brush with the man, since he’s long been a champion of his work and has appeared adaptations such as The Importance Of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband.
The title comes from the name of one of Wilde's own fairytales, the story of a statue high above a city who looks out for the people down below. You can read the full text here, but be warned: the title is misleading, so don't blame us if you end up in floods.
With financing in place, Everett is aiming to start filming next year.