Mark Rylance to Star in Golfing Comedy 'Fantastic Flitcrofts' From 'Paddington 2' Writer

Mark Rylance - GETTY - H 2016
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Craig Roberts is directing the film about the folk hero who managed to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship qualifying in 1976 and subsequently shot the worst round in Open history.

Oscar and BAFTA winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk, The BFG) is set to take the lead in comedy-drama The Fantastic Flitcrofts, to be directed by Craig Roberts (Just Jim, Eternal Beauty) and based on the adapted screenplay by Simon Farnaby (Paddington 2).  

Rylance will star as Maurice Flitcroft, a dreamer and unrelenting optimist, who managed to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship qualifying in 1976 and subsequently shot the worst round in Open history, becoming a folk hero in the process.

Cornerstone Films will finance together with Len Blavatnik's film investment arm AI Film (AI) and BBC Films. The movie was developed by BBC Films and the BFI with National Lottery funding. Cornerstone Films will also handle worldwide sales and distribution and is presenting the film for the first time at the upcoming Cannes virtual market.

The film is produced by Nichola Martin through Baby Cow Films, BAFTA Award winner Tom Miller from Water & Power Productions, together with Kate Glover. BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Christine Langan and James Swarbrick are executive producers.

"I am particularly thrilled to be offered a comedy," said Rylance. "I have had some of my best times in the theater in comedies, Boeing Boeing, and Twelfth Night in the West End and on Broadway. This is the first comic film I have ever been offered. A comedy of character and situation, which I love."

Rylance is represented by Joel Lubin at CAA and Jodi Peikoff at Peikoff Mahan. Roberts is represented by Kate Staddon at Curtis Brown and Farnaby by Humphrey Elles-Hill at Independent Talent.