Rupert Everett says screw it, makes his own Oscar Wilde biopic
After playing the carefree, dandy, Oscar Wilde analogue twice (1999’s An Ideal Husband and 2002’s The Importance of Being Earnest) and waiting for more than a decade for some discerning writer and/or director to understand his strong hints, Rupert Everett has just decided to say screw it. He’s written his own Oscar Wilde biopic, which he plans to direct and star in because he doesn’t need any of you! He can do it all by himself!
Well, sort of. Because the alternative would be weird, he needs a supporting cast. And whenever an Oscar Wilde adaptation is in the works, the Oscar Wilde signal illuminates the foggy London sky, alerting Colin Firth to suit up in his top hat and double-breasted frock coat and slink out of the shadows into the spotlight. The Hollywood Reporter reports he will be playing Wilde’s “friend and confidant Reginald ‘Reggie’ Turner.” Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Edward Fox will also co-star.
At the moment, plot details are rather vague, promising to “look at Wilde’s final, tragic days as he looks back on the disasters of his life with characteristic dry wit and black humor.” The film already earns points though, for avoiding the painfully obvious titles like The Picture of Oscar Wilde or The Importance of Being Oscar and opting to instead reference an earlier work: The Happy Prince. The title comes from one of his early short stories, which tells the tale of a beautiful, bejeweled, gilded statue of a “happy” prince, who watches over a city and grows sadder as he witnesses the misery of the city’s poor inhabitants. But the statue soon discovers true happiness by kindly giving away his riches in secret, until the townspeople notice how shabby he looks and tear him down. I’m sure the film won’t contain any allusions to this story.
The Happy Prince will start shooting in Summer 2013.