Advertisement

Karen Gillan to Play Queen Mary Tudor in Period Comedy ‘Fools,’ Altitude Launching in Berlin

Karen Gillan (“Avengers Endgame,” “Jumanji”) is set to lead the cast “Fools,” a historic comedy exploring the little known story of Mary Tudor and the friendship with her female court jester.

Olivier winner Patsy Ferran (“Mickey 17,” “Hot Milk,” Living), Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Brenda Blethyn (“Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement”) and the multi-award-winning Jim Broadbent (“The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry,” “The Iron Lady”) will also star in the feature, to be written and directed by BAFTA and triple Emmy winner Guy Jenkin (“What We Did On Our Holiday,” “Outnumbered”).

More from Variety

Altitude Film Sales will handle international sales, with UTA Independent Film Group co-repping North America.. The film is set to shoot later this year and is being produced by Ryan Bennett of PaperEpic Productions.

Set in the 16th century in the aftermath of Henry VIII’s death, “Fool” follows England’s first queen Mary I (Gillan) as she takes the throne in a divided country on the brink of chaos. While the ambitious Cardinal Pole (Broadbent) plots to secure control, he overlooks a humble court jester, Jane Foole (Ferran). The pious and apparently humourless queen finds Jane’s brilliant slapstick routines uproariously funny, and they strike up a genuine friendship, the comedy lightening Mary’s mood in the darkest of times, and helping fend off Pole’s murderous manipulation. But can Jane’s comedy save a nation from civil war?

“I am thrilled to be working with such a supremely talented core group of actors on ‘Fools,'” said Jenkin. “Together, we will tell the untold story of the strange friendship between England’s first Queen, and her female jester. ‘Fools’ will turn the conventions of a historical film inside-out, and promises to be subversive, striking and very funny.”

Added Bennett: “With ‘Fools,’ Guy has discovered a fascinating, hidden piece of history. This is a story where comedy actually saves lives. It’s a defence of moderation, and a celebration of the power of laughter.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.