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Queen Elizabeth Applauds ‘The King’s Speech’

Mike Fleming

As the Oscar race hits the home stretch, the battle for supremacy is heating up. First Mark Zuckerberg showed up on Saturday Night Live last week to help tout The Social Network alongside host Jesse Eisenberg. Now The King’s Speech, which has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards and took home last weekend’s top DGA and SAG honors, has found its own special audience — none other than Queen Elizabeth. This comes from the Weinstein Company:

New York, NY, February 4, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) is honored to learn that Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, has enjoyed a private screening of THE KING’S SPEECH, as reported by Duncan Larcombe, Royal Editor, in today’s edition of The Sun.  The film, directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler, tells the story of Her Majesty’s father, King George VI, as he struggles to overcome a crippling speech impediment while grappling with his sudden, unexpected ascension to throne and the mounting danger of Nazi Germany.  THE KING’S SPEECH stars Colin Firth as King George VI, Geoffrey Rush as the King’s speech therapist, Lionel Logue, and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

THE KING’S SPEECH has been seen and admired by many notable public figures, including  British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hosted a private screening at his home over the Christmas holidays; Prince Andrew; Lord and Lady William Astor; Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill; and Edwina Sandys, the granddaughter of Winston Churchill (portrayed in the film by Timothy Spall).   

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UTA Signs ‘King’s Speech’ Writer

Mike Fleming

After the Tom Hooper-directed Colin Firth-Geoffrey Rush film The King’s Speech came out of Toronto with strong Oscar buzz, United Talent Agency swooped in to sign the pic’s writer, David Seidler. It’s not unusual for the scribes of Oscar-bait film to get snapped up by major agencies. But Seidler is no flash in the pan. He’s 73 years old, and the effort to make the film dates back to before many of today’s top screenwriters were born. His script –covering King George VI’s race to overcome a stutter so he could rally his subjects in radio broadcasts as England fought Hitler’s invading forces in WWII–was subject matter that is woven through Seidler’s own life. While an eloquent speaker now, Seidler developed a debilitating childhood stutter he attributes to the shock of those early days of WWII. “I was a profound stutterer as a kid, and though we relocated to the US after the Battle of Dunkirk, it was the trauma of hearing the guns and bombs from that battle that triggered it. I could barely talk at times, but as the war progressed, we were allowed to listen to the radio and the King of England. He spoke badly, but I thought my goodness, if a king can be brave enough to speak like that on the radio, maybe there’s hope for me. He was always a hero to me.”

Years later, after Seidler finished the 1988 Francis Coppola-directed Tucker: The Read More »

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