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The Critic: Ian McKellen and Gemma Arterton rule the screen as film drops first trailer

The movie hits cinemas on 13 September 2024

By Jamie Tabberer

Sir Ian McKellen and Gemma Carterton in The Critic
Sir Ian McKellen and Gemma Arterton in The Critic (Image: Provided)

He’s trodden the boards to international acclaim for years. And now, for his next film role, Sir Ian McKellen is to play a theatre critic for the first time.

The movie, based on Anthony Quinn’s novel Curtain Call, and co-staring Vita & Virginia actress Gemma Arterton, debuted its first trailer yesterday (Monday 1 July 2024).

The upcoming thriller, in cinemas 13 September 2024, also stars Mark Strong, Ben Barnes, Alfred Enoch, Romola Garai and Lesley Manville.

“A chain of events with terrible consequences”

The Critic follows Jimmy, a gay man and theatre critic in 1930s London known for his savage reviews.

Alfred Enoch and Sir Ian McKellen in The Critic
Alfred Enoch and Sir Ian McKellen in The Critic (Image: Provided)

The film is directed by Anand Tucker and written by Patrick Marber. It is produced by Jolyon Symonds for Fearless Minds and Bill Kenwright’s BK Studios.

The Critic – The official synopsis

‘London, 1934. When the most feared and vicious theatre critic in town Jimmy Erskine (McKellen), finds himself suddenly in the cross hairs of the Daily Chronicle’s new owner David Brooke (Strong), he strikes a Faustian pact with struggling actress Nina Land (Arterton) who is desperate to win his favour.’

The trailer’s arrival follows Oscar-nominee Ian falling from the stage during a performance of Player Kings in London last month.

“I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery” – Ian McKellen on his recent fall

Addressing last month’s fall in a statement yesterday (Monday 1 June 2024), Ian said: ”Two weeks after my accident onstage, my injuries improve day by day. [But] it’s with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime.”

The star, known for The Lord of the Rings franchise, continued: “I had been so looking forward to bringing Player Kings to theatre-goers in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle. But I can assure them that, with David Semark now playing Falstaff, Robert Icke’s production and his acting company remain as dazzling as ever. Go see for yourself!”