Director Roger Michell began shooting the movie this week, Focus Features Chief Executive Officer James Schamus announced Thursday. Based on a screenplay by Richard Nelson, "Hyde Park on Hudson" is to be released by Focus in the second half of 2012.
"In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor [played by Olivia Williams] host the King and Queen of England [played by Samuel West and Olivia Colman] for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York -- the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America," Focus said in a synopsis. "With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR's domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy [played by Laura Linney,] Franklin's distant cousin, neighbor, and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy -- and through her, for us all -- a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship."
"Filmgoers will be intrigued by this unique exploration of the all-too-human side of one of history's great men. Roger is an actor's director who will guide Bill and Laura through their playing of Richard's script, which beautifully encompasses satire and drama," Schamus said in a statement.