Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman to Star in Jay Roach’s ‘The Roses’ for Searchlight Pictures

Los Angeles, CA, April 1, 2024 – Searchlight Pictures announced today that Academy Award® Nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game) and Academy Award® Winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Lobster) will star in The Roses, a reimagining of the 1989 classic The War of the Roses. The dark comedy, currently in development, will be directed by Jay Roach (Bombshell, Meet the Parents) and is written by Tony McNamara (Poor Things, ‘The Great’), based on the novel by Warren Adler. Producers are Cumberbatch under his SunnyMarch banner with Leah Clarke and Adam Ackland, Colman under the South of the River banner with Ed Sinclair and Tom Carver, along with Roach and Michelle Graham.

Life seems easy for picture-perfect couple Theo (Cumberbatch) and Ivy (Colman): successful careers, great kids, an enviable sex life. But underneath the façade of the perfect family is a tinderbox of competition and resentments that’s ignited when Theo’s professional dreams come crashing down.

Jonathan R. Adler and Michael Adler, from Adler Entertainment Trust, are executive producing. The Roses marks the first project under a two-year first-look deal signed between Adler Entertainment Trust and Searchlight Pictures.

“The Roses is a wildly funny, bigger than life, and yet deeply human story,” said Searchlight President Matthew Greenfield. “With Jay at the helm, and Benedict and Olivia and Tony, we have a dream team bringing it to life.”

“We are thrilled to be working on this very special film with such an incredible team,” added SunnyMarch’s Adam Ackland. “We have been long admirers of Jay’s work and his vision and passion to tell this story is incredibly inspiring.”

“Working with our partners at Searchlight Pictures in this reimagining of the classic movie is a dream come true,” added Adler Entertainment Trust CEO Jonathan R. Adler. “We are delighted to continue the legacy of our father’s brilliant work and introduce The War of the Roses to a new generation.”

Twentieth Century Fox had released the original adaptation of The War of the Roses novel in 1989, directed by Danny DeVito and starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.  The critically acclaimed film won numerous awards and garnered one BAFTA and three Golden Globe nominations, including for Best Motion Picture.

Cumberbatch became a household name as Sherlock Holmes on the British television series ‘Sherlock’. His acclaimed film credits include Doctor Strange and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 12 Years a Slave, and August: Osage County.  His portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game earned him a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Cumberbatch was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2015 Birthday Honours for his services to the performing arts and to charity. Colman has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards® and won the Oscar for Best Actress in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite. She has also received the BAFTA Award for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Broadchurch’ and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in ‘The Night Manager’. She played Queen Elizabeth II in the period drama series ‘The Crown’, for which she received the Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress. Other notable award-winning credits include Wonka, The Father, The Lost Daughter, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Lobster.

Roach has earned acclaim and become renowned throughout his career, notably for his work on the Austin Powers film series, Meet the Parents, The Campaign, Trumbo, and Bombshell. His television credits include Recount, Game Change, which won the Golden Globes for Best Miniseries or TV Movie, and All the Way. He produced these films under his Everyman Pictures banner. Roach has received four Primetime Emmy Awards.

Cumberbatch is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant and UTA, Colman by CAA and United Agents, and Roach by UTA, Mosaic, and Behr Abramson Levy Johnson. Paul Hoffman negotiated the overall deal for Searchlight Pictures with Jeff Silberman of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano for Adler Entertainment Trust. Searchlight VP of Production Richard Ruiz and Director of Development & Production Pete Spencer are overseeing the project, reporting into Searchlight Production Heads DanTram Nguyen and Katie Goodson-Thomas.

About Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures is a global specialty film and television company that develops, produces, finances and acquires motion pictures and series for both worldwide theatrical and streaming releases. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and is part of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. Founded in 1994 as Fox Searchlight Pictures, the company’s titles have grossed over $5 billion worldwide, amassing 51 Academy Awards including five Best Picture winners since 2009: Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, The Shape of Water, and Nomadland; 62 BAFTA Awards, 34 Golden Globe Awards, and 10 Grammy Awards. Searchlight Television, the division which develops and produces series for streaming, network, and cable partners, earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress and an additional 5 nominations for its first production “The Dropout” from Elizabeth Meriwether, in partnership with Hulu and 20 th  Studios.

Searchlight recently released Yorgos Lanthimos’ Golden Lion and 4-time Academy Award winner Poor Things, starring and produced by Emma Stone; Laura Chinn’s Suncoast, which stars Laura Linney, Nico Parker, and Woody Harrelson, and won U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance at Sundance; Andrew Haigh’s critically acclaimed romantic drama All of Us Strangers; Taika Waititi’s underdog comedy Next Goal Win; Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s award-winning Sundance debut feature comedy Theater Camp; and Eva Longoria’s Academy Award nominated Flamin’ Hot.

Upcoming releases include A Real Pain, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic at Sundance; Ned Benson’s The Greatest Hits starring Lucy Boynton, Justin H. Min, and Austin Crute; Marielle Heller’s Nightbitch starring Amy Adams; and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness starring Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe.

About Adler Entertainment Trust (AET)

Jonathan R. Adler (CEO) and Michael Adler (V.P. Creative) are partners in AET – a production company dedicated to adapting Warren Adler’s vast library of 56 novels, numerous plays and 100 short stories into entertainment for all media including film, television, live stage and podcasts – domestic and international. In addition to the film remake, AET is involved in producing a new live stage version of The War of the Roses (adapted by acclaimed writer Peter Tolan and directed by Jason Alexander) scheduled to premiere in London’s West End during the last quarter of 2024.

Some of the current projects in active development include: The Children of the Roses, The Untitled Fiona Fitzgerald Detective Series (based on the 8 book series), Target Churchill/Mission Churchill, Little Black Dress, Torture Man, The Third Door (starring and co-produced by Anna Camp), Residue (written and directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall), Funny Boys, Flanagan’s Pursuit (based on the two book series), Never too Late for Love (a short story collection that inspired the PBS American Playhouse trilogy called The Sunset Gang, that garnered Doris Roberts an Emmy nomination), Random Hearts (previously adapted into the 1999 feature starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas) now being developed as a TV series, and Trans Siberian Express and Trans Mongolian Express.