Derek Jacobi might have reinvented himself for the kid set thanks to a barnstorming turn as The Master (at least before he became John Simm) in Dr Who, but he’s going strictly old school for his next project, A Bunch Of Amateurs.
Chatting to Teletext, Sir Derek has revealed that the film will feature Burt Reynolds as a fading American thesp lured to England for a new role. “He gets a call saying he's got an offer to play King Lear in England. He thinks it's the RSC but it turns out it's with this am-dram company." Comic complications naturally ensue, with Jacobi as a wannabe actor who seethes at the thought of some damn Yankee stealing his leading light. “I'm playing the local solicitor who thinks he's God's gift to Shakespeare, and is terribly upset that he's understudying Lear.”
But nothing can happen until producers can rustle up the dosh to make it. "They haven't quite got all the money but I'm quietly confident they will, and should know by Christmas to begin filming in January or February. I hope it happens because it's a wonderful English idea and would be lovely to do."
Derek Jacobi and Burt Reynolds? It could be the new top comedy partnership!