Ncuti Gatwa joins divorce satire The Roses, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman

With filming on his second season of Doctor Who complete, Ncuti Gatwa has signed up to co-star in a new adaptation of William Adler’s novel The War of the Roses. The new film, titled simply The Roses, tells the story of a divorce so vicious and volatile it becomes almost farcical. On the surface, Jonathan and Barbara Rose seem to have the perfect marriage. At least until a life changing event occur and Jonathan has a heart attack. Barbara realizes she doesn’t actually love him anymore and would be quite content if he had died, suing for divorce. Jonathan wants everything to go smoothly and amicably, offering an even 50:50 split. However, Barbara demands their entire mansion and all its contents as her own, triggering a vicious legal brawl. Neither party will move out during the court proceedings, so the mansion becomes a battlefield between the increasingly unhinged ex-lovers.

The 1989 adaptation of The War of the Roses starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Jonathan and Barbara, with Danny Devito as Jonathan’s lawyer Gavin. In the new film, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Dr. Strange) and Olivia Colman (Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour, Broadchurch, The Crown) take the roles of the warring couple. Joining them are Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa, alongside his Barbie co-star Kate McKinnon, and Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 99). There roles are as yet unrevealed. However, there are few likely possibilities based on the original novel and previous adaptation. They’re likely a mix of the competing divorce lawyers and the new client to whom Gavin relates the cautionary tale.

 

The Roses is currently filming around the UK

The new adaptation has been written by Tony McNamara, recently Oscar nomination for his Poor Things script. The director is Jay Roach, whose past work has included everything from out and out comedies like the Austin Powers series, to more cutting satire like Game Change, charting the rise and fall of American politician Sarah Palin. Exactly where The Roses falls on that spectrum remains to be seen. There’s no official release date for the film yet, but audiences can probably expect it in cinemas some time late next year. Filming is currently underway around the UK, but it’s unclear yet if that means the setting has moved from the original American location.

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