“Notting Hill” director Roger Michell’s last film — a documentary about Queen Elizabeth II — was completed before he died on Wednesday.
“Roger’s feature documentary about The Queen — ‘Elizabeth’ — will be out in the first half of 2022,” the film’s producer, Kevin Loader, told Variety. “We have a few technical processes to complete, but Roger supervised the final mix.”
In his director’s statement, published on a website for the film, Michell wrote: “She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. Ever. She is the longest-serving female head of state in the history of the world, the world’s oldest living monarch, the longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state. More people dream about the Queen than any other living person.”
“She’s the Mona Lisa, instantly recognisable, and yet elusively and perpetually unknowable. She’s more famous than The Beatles. She’s a Queen in a castle in a fairy story. Or the Queen in a hard-hat opening a recycling factory,” Michell added. “And you don’t have to be a monarchist to have the Queen in your head. All around her time and the world swirls like a tropical typhoon: everything in the canvas changes, absolutely everything … Except her. Elizabeth.”
“A celebration. A truly cinematic mystery-tour up and down the decades: poetic, funny, disobedient, ungovernable, affectionate, inappropriate, mischievous, in awe. Funny. Moving. Different. The Queen as never before.”
Although Michell dabbled in documentaries (he directed “Nothing Like a Dame,” which featured Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith discussing their careers), he was best known for his scripted features such as blockbuster “Notting Hill,” starring Julia Robert and Hugh Grant, and “My Cousin Rachel,” with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin.
“Elizabeth” was being produced by Michell and Loader (“The Death of Stalin”) via their joint production company Free Range Films. “Groundhog Day” composer George Fenton is providing the score.
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