Benedict Cumberbatch & Olivia Colman to Headline 'War of the Roses' Remake

Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman will team up for the forthcoming 'War of the Roses' Remake

Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman will team up for the forthcoming 'War of the Roses' Remake


Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman are two of the biggest actors working today and now they're finally going to work together. (Or, at least, work together properly.) The prestige duo are joining forces for The Roses, a reimagining of the 1989 dark comedy The War of the Roses 

Based on the 1981 novel of the same name by Warren Adler, The War of the Roses starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Oliver and Barbara Rose, a wealthy couple with a seemingly perfect marriage. But when their relationship begins to crumble, their belongings — specifically their lavish mansion — become the center of their increasingly vicious divorce battle.

In The Roses, Colman and Cumberbatch play picture-perfect couple Theo and Ivy, whose enviable lifestyle masks darker feelings of competition and resentment between them.  

The duo are basically British acting royalty these days. Colman snagged an Oscar for starring in The Favourite and an Emmy for her performance as the second iteration of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, while Cumberbatch has starred in projects ranging from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and The Power of the Dog to Marvel movies. (Though most Anglophiles probably know him best from Sherlock.) 

The pair have technically starred in a project together once before, the charmingly offbeat period film The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, but the two didn't appear on screen with one another, as Colman merely provided the voice of the story's narrator.

Here's the film's logline. 

Life seems easy for picture-perfect couple Theo and Ivy: successful careers, great kids, an enviable sex life. But underneath the façade of the perfect family is a tinderbox of competition and resentments that’s ignited when Theo’s professional dreams come crashing down.

Tony McNamara, who just received an Oscar nomination for writing the Best Picture-nominated Poor Things, will adapt the story, and the film will be directed by Jay Roach (Bombshell).  

The Roses is a wildly funny, bigger than life, and yet deeply human story,” said Searchlight Pictures president Matthew Greenfield said in a statment. “With Jay at the helm, and Benedict and Olivia and Tony, we have a dream team bringing it to life.”

Cumberbatch is producing under his SunnyMarch banner along with the company's Leah Clarke and Adam Ackland. Colman is a producer with South of the River and her partners Ed Sinclair and Tom Carver. Roach and Michelle Graham are also producing.

“We are thrilled to be working on this very special film with such an incredible team,” said SunnyMarch’s Ackland. “We have been long admirers of Jay’s work and his vision and passion to tell this story is incredibly inspiring.”

There's no production timeline or release date set as yet for The Roses, but it certainly feels like the sort of awards bait that gets held for the end of the year.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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