The 85-year-old actress played Nazi official Joseph Goebbels’ secretary Brunhilde Pomsel in the critically-acclaimed production, which was written by screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton based on a series of interviews given by Pomsel when she was 103.
Following the success of the 2019 run on London’s West End, the team had planned a transfer to Broadway. However, Hampton has now told Variety that a movie adaptation is in the works instead because Smith, who is classed as high-risk amid the pandemic due to her age, did not want to return to the stage.
“What with Covid, Maggie decided that she didn’t really want to go back and do it again on stage, which was a great shame because it meant that an enormous number of people hadn’t seen it and her great performance,” he told Variety.
He confessed it was difficult to adapt the one-woman play into a film script, but hopes that the tweaks he’s made to his original stage production will work on the big screen.
“What I’ve been doing is writing it as a screenplay about this woman in her retirement home in 2013 talking about her life,” Hampton explained. “The film script was more difficult to write than the stage play. Sometimes she looks out the window and sees characters, but otherwise, it’s all just her through the course of the day talking about her memories.”
Theatre and opera director Jonathan Kent will be making his feature film debut as he has been picked to helm the project, thanks to his long-standing working relationship with Hampton in London’s West End.
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