'The Lady in the Van' Starring Maggie Smith Set for December Release

Nicola Dove/Tristar/BBC Films
'The Lady in the Van'

Nicholas Hytner's film, which will screen at the Toronto Film Festival, gets an awards-qualifying run.

Sony Pictures Classics has set The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith, for an awards-qualifying December release.

Nicholas Hytner is directing the film, which is an adaptation of Alan Bennett's West End hit. Smith is reprising her role from the stage version: She will play Miss Mary 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 15 years.

In the film version, Alex Jennings, who plays Bennett, stars along with Frances de la Tour, Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Jim Broadbent and James Corden.

Damian Jones and Kevin Loader produced, along with Hytner. The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Smith has won two Academy Awards (best actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and best supporting actress for California Suite) and has been nominated six times.

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