Benedict Cumberbatch & Olivia Colman To Star in ‘War of the Roses’ Remake

Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman collage with roses
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Jaeger-LeCoultre; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Titled The Roses, British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman will star in a reimagining of the 1989 dark comedy The War of the Roses. The new Searchlight Pictures film will be directed by Jay Roach (known for directing the Austin Powers films and Trumbo, among others) and will follow a married couple who are living what is seemingly a perfect life when the wife realizes she no longer loves her husband after 17 years together.

Per Deadline, the synopsis reads: “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.”

THE WAR OF THE ROSES, from left, Kathleen Turner, director and costar Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, 1989.

20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection

The original War of the Roses, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, who also directed the film, was based on the 1981 novel of the same name by Warren Adler and is a tale of a married couple’s breakup devolving into some vicious divorce battles when neither of them want to part with their home or material possessions. Tony McNamara (Poor Things) has written the new screenplay.

Though the title is an allusion to the historical 15th-century battles between the warring houses of York and Lancaster (also somewhat the basis of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones), the film is set in modern times. With the original film being an in-depth exploration of the inner workings of a marriage as well as a commentary on rampant materialism, the remake should be an interesting take of similar themes in a modern world.

Stay tuned for any updates!