She was Oscar nominated for her portrayal in Mrs. Brown, and now Dame Judi Dench is set to reprise the role of Queen Victoria in Working Title Films’ Victoria and Abdul, which is being directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen).
Based on Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant and scripted by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), the film “tells the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.”
Dench has previously won an Oscar for a royal role, receiving the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love.
Production on Victoria and Abdul is set to get underway later this year, with the film slated for release in 2017.