Dustin Hoffman doesn’t need a grand introduction having been a Hollywood staple for decades now– he’s known far and wide as an accomplished and iconic actor. For all the characters he’s played, awards he’s won, and checks he’s cashed though, he’s never directed a film– not even some one-off vanity project in the late 70s or something. Nope Quartet, which he’s putting together based on a screenplay by Ronald Hardwood (Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Pianist, Australia), will be the Hoff’s first feature film as a director.
And man is Dustin diving in with both feet. He’ll be wrangling a cast that includes Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Sheridan Smith. I don’t think there’s been any mention of Hoffman himself appearing in front of the camera.
That intense cast will fill out a story of a retirement home that houses retired opera singers who get riled up every year by an annual fundraising concert they put on. Apparently the story revolves around one such year that is made especially contentious by the inclusion of a new retiree who brings with him the baggage of old rivalries and friction with other singers. The basic synopsis reads very Lifetime, but the pedigree is sound.
The film will start shooting any moment now, so expect to see or hear something more from it sooner rather than later. This is definitely a late start for Hoffman if he feels like he has a lot of stories to tell from the other side of the lens, so I hope he’s able to knock it out of the park from the start.