Ben Kingsley And Stellan Skarsgard Join The Physician Adaptation
Ben Kingsley and Stellan Skarsgard are presently perched at the top of the box office, the former showcasing his comedy chops opposite Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator, the latter mixing it up with The Avengers. While credit for these movies' numbers may never go to this pair, it's hard to argue that they didn't offer solid support in the big budget studio flicks. Now, they'll have a chance to draw a little more notice, as THR reports they'll be co-starring opposite up-and-coming leading man Tom Payne in the forthcoming adaptation of Noah Gordon's best-selling novel The Physician.
The book, which kicks off Gordon's Cole Family Trilogy, follows young Rob Cole, a Christian born into poverty in 11th century England who ventures across Europe and into Muslim-dominated Persia to better study the emerging study of healing. Payne, who recently co-stared on the short-lived HBO series Luck, will shoulder the role of Rob.
Skarsgard has signed on to play traveling barber/surgeon, Cole's first mentor who not only teaches the boy some simple medicines, but also shows him how to draw a crowd with juggling, storytelling and drawing characters. It seems a warm character for which Skarsgard should be a great fit. For his part, Kingsley will play Ibn Sina, a prolific Iranian writer who wrote hundreds of treatises on a wide array of topics from philosophy to medicine, including The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine. There's no mention of what kind of personality screenwriter Jan Berger's script has given this "doctor of all doctors," but Kingsley and his remarkable range should find no troubles in any case.
German director Philipp Stoelzl (Northface) will helm the film, which is expected to go into production in Morocco and Germany next month. The post-production house Pixomondo, which won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for Hugo, will be in charge of The Physician's computer-generated special effects, so expect something extraordinary fx to accompany extraordinary performances.
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