Stephen Fry, Geraldine James Join Richard Armitage in Brit LGBTQ+ Drama 'Now & Then' (Exclusive)

Stephen Fry and Geraldine James
Mike Marsland / Wireimage / Getty

Stephen Fry, Geraldine James

Based on William Corlett's novel, the film follows a man who returns to his childhood home to confront memories of his time in school and an intense, passionate affair he shared with a fellow student.

British stage and screen veterans Stephen Fry and Geraldine James are set to join Richard Armitage in the upcoming LGBTQ+ feature Now & Then.

Adapted from William Corlett's award-winning novel by screenwriter and noted British casting director Matt Western and being directed by Tom Vaughan, the film — first announced by The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year — follows Christopher Metcalfe (Armitage), who returns to his childhood home following the death of his father, confronting memories of his time in school and an intense, passionate affair he shared with fellow student Stephen Walker.

James — a four-time BAFTA TV nominee and recently seen in Netflix series Anne with an E alongside roles in the Downton Abbey movie, Rogue One and Alice Through the Looking Glass — has signed on for the part of Laura, Christopher's mother. Fry, meanwhile, is set to play a character called TG.

"I read this screenplay and enjoyed it enormously," says Fry. "It brought back memories of the original novel: the heartbreak, the lyric intensity, the terrible betrayal of Stephen’s turning his back on Christopher.

"I can see Now & Then rising to become acclaimed as The Go-Between for our age. The Joe Losey/Harold Pinter award-winning version of The Go-Between is one of my all-time favorite films. Like Now & Then, it interweaved past and present, united old acquaintances and uncovered fragile layers of the past to reveal a festering wound beneath."

Production is anticipated to begin in the U.K. and Croatia in the fall of 2021, according to Western.

"I’m thrilled to welcome Geraldine and Stephen to our project," said Western, who produces alongside Croatian film and TV producer Bruno Mustić. "Both are exceptional artists who bring a phenomenal presence and energy to the project. They are artists whom I admire hugely for their authentic and captivating storytelling ability."

Added Vaughan: "This moving story evokes universal themes of intense love experienced and lost, the impact of formative life events on our adult selves, and the relationship between mother and son as it grows into deeper mutual understanding and connection. I’m honored to bring this exceptional human story to the screen in all its visual and emotional wonder."