Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren and director Bill Condon are teaming for The Good Liar, a thriller from New Line Cinema.
Bron Creative, a division of Bron Studios, is also boarding the project that adapts the novel by Nicholas Searle, with the company acting as co-financier. This is the first time Bron is partnering with New Line, although the company has previously partnered with Paramount on Fences and Sony on Tom Hanks’ Greyhound, which is currently in production.
A story about a cat-and-mouse game, The Good Liar centers on career con artist Roy Courtnay (McKellen), who can’t resist one last score when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (Mirren) online. As the woman opens up her home and life to him, the man is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into a treacherous tightrope walk as all is not what it seems.
Condon will direct and also produce, along with Greg Yolen. Jack Morrissey, along with Bron Creative’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth, will executive produce.
Jeffrey Hatcher, who previously worked with Condon and McKellen on 2015’s Mr. Holmes, wrote the screenplay.
Searle is a pseudonym for a former civil servant in the U.K. who wrote the book while taking online writing courses from London’s Curtis Brown Creative. The book sparked a bidding war in 2016; it was released by Viking in the U.K. and HarperCollins in the U.S.
The Good Liar will mark the fourth collaboration between Condon and McKellen, who first worked together on Gods and Monsters, which won Condon an Oscar for best adapted screenplay and McKellen a nomination for best actor.
The Good Liar will mark Condon’s first project since directing Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, which grossed $1.2 billion worldwide. (McKellen voiced Cogsworth in the movie.) Condon was due to helm Bride of Frankenstein, but Universal has shelved that project for the time being.
After The Good Liar, McKellen will star in King Lear at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre, beginning in July.
Mirren next appears in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and is coming off of a starring turn in the horror thriller Winchester.
Condon is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Alexander, Lawrence. Mirren is repped by CAA. McKellen is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group. Bron is repped by Endeavor Content.