Dominic Cooper gets Summer In February

Won't be playing a relative of Saddam Hussein

Former History Boy and Abba warbler Dominic Cooper has joined the cast of turn-of-the-century drama Summer In February, based on the well-received novel by Jonathan Smith.

He will appear opposite Dan Stevens, best known for period cliché factory Downton Abbey (but whose fearless turn in Andrew Davies’ superb miniseries The Line Of Beauty is proof of his talent), and, erm, Mr Popper’s Penguins’ Ophelia Lovibond in a true story of ‘love, liberty and scandal.’

Cooper has been suffering from tinnitus-like ‘awards buzz’ since his Devil’s Double gig and will enjoy a less frenetic performance as acclaimed painter Alfred Munnings, a member of the bohemian Newlyn School of artists based in Cornwall and a rival in love to Stevens’ land agent Gilbert Evans. 

Whether Evans, like Stevens’ Downton incarnation Matthew Crawley, will be required to achieve the mean feat of finding a stylist to give him blonde highlights in the muddy trenches of war-torn northern France is yet to be determined.

Jonathan Smith has adapted his own book for the big screen, while Stevens, a former English pupil of his at Tonbridge School, will exec produce. Helming the $8 million pic will be Christopher Menaul, who recently made his film debut with opera comedy First Night (not the one with Richard Gere). 

With an increasingly accomplished cast and a rich and resonant novel as its source material, we think this sounds like a promising little Brit-flick.

Summer in February is expected to arrive at cinemas late in 2012.

 

What are we looking at - a soppy watercolour or a bold, textured piece of art? Your thoughts please!