Steve Coogan to star in Richard III film The Lost King

Thursday 3rd September 2020, 10:34am by Jay Richardson

  • Steve Coogan will star in The Lost King, a film about finding Richard III's bones in Leicester
  • He has revealed he will play the husband of Phillipa Langley, the woman who undertook the search
  • Coogan has co-written the film with Jeff Pope. Filming is expected to begin next year
Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan has revealed his next film role, starring in a movie about the discovery of Richard III's remains beneath a Leicester car park.

The news that Coogan and his regular collaborator Jeff Pope were writing a screenplay about the location of the king's skeleton first emerged in 2017.

But the Alan Partridge star has now confirmed that he will take a role in The Lost King, playing the husband of Phillipa Langley, whose seven-year search for the monarch culminated in 2013 when a DNA test confirmed the excavated bones were Richard's.

"Next year we're shooting a film about the woman who found the body of Richard III in a car park in Leicester" Coogan told Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 breakfast show yesterday. "I play her husband."

Ball initially misheard him and thought he was going to play Langley herself, a writer and president of the Scottish branch of the Richard III society.

"Twenty years ago I would have been playing her. But these days we're not allowed to do that" he joked. "I thought I'll play the man instead".

Written by Coogan and Pope, who were Oscar-nominated for the screenplay of their 2014 film Philomena, starring Coogan and Judi Dench, and who reunited for 2018's Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie, The Lost King was initially set to film this year but was postponed because of coronavirus.

Philomena director Stephen Frears is also rumoured to be attached to the feature. Drawing parallels between that film, which told the story of an Irish mother searching for the son taken away from her as a toddler, and Langley's dogged pursuit of her belief that Richard III was buried in the now-demolished Greyfriars abbey in Leicester, Coogan remarked in 2017 that "this Richard film is about the amateur versus the Establishment, and intuition versus academia".

Also in his chat with Ball, Coogan confirmed that his next project to shoot will be the comedy drama Chivalry, which he has co-written with Sarah Solemani. The Channel 4 dramedy is "about the post #MeToo landscape, romance and gender politics. It's quite a thorny issue but we'll be grappling with it in a way that's funny and unifying".

He was appearing on the Radio 2 show to promote his new Alan Partridge podcast, From The Oasthouse, which launches today.

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