The importance of being Everett?
Lionsgate UK has released the first trailer for The Happy Prince, Rupert Everett’s biopic about the final days of Oscar Wilde.
Everett, 58, stars as the iconic Irish wit and writer in the film, which he also wrote, directed, and produced.
The film focuses on Wilde’s exile from London following his 1895 arrest and two-year imprisonment for “gross indecency.”
“Out of prison but a pariah, Wilde swings between grief and a determination to wrest whatever pleasure and beauty he can from the time he has left,” reads an official synopsis. “His body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning, he survives by falling back on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him.”
“As the film travels through Wilde’s final act, and journeys from England to France and Italy, desire and loyalty face off, the transience of lust is laid bare, and the true riches of love are revealed.”
The Happy Prince, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, also stars Colin Morgan (Merlin) as Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas.
Colin Firth plays Reggie Turner, Wilde’s friend and contemporary, and Emily Watson plays Constance, Wilde’s estranged wife. The cast also includes Edwin Thomas, Tom Wilkinson, and Anna Chancellor.
Everett, an English actor best known for his roles in My Best Friend’s Wedding and The Next Best Thing, previously played Wilde on stage in The Judas Kiss.
“Wilde is a kind of Christ figure in a way for every LGBT person now on their journey,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “That journey started with Wilde.”
“As a gay person, it is a terribly important story to me personally because Oscar really was crucified by the society that had at first adored him—he is a kind of patron saint to me. I’d love to communicate that notion to everyone.”
The Happy Prince opens June 15 in the U.K. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in the U.S., but that date has not yet been set.