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Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett to Star in ``NOTES ON A SCANDAL''.

LOS ANGELES -- It was announced today that Oscar(R) winners Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett will headline NOTES ON A SCANDAL. Based on Zoe Heller's award-winning novel of the same name, the film will be helmed by Richard Eyre (IRIS, STAGE BEAUTY) from an adaptation penned by Patrick Marber (CLOSER). It will be produced by Scott Rudin and Robert Fox, who partnered to produce Eyre's IRIS as well as CLOSER and THE HOURS.

When Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) joins St. George's as the new Art teacher, Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret. NOTES ON A SCANDAL is a story of loneliness, loyalty, envy and love.

Cate Blanchett won an Oscar, a SAG Award and a BAFTA Award for her supporting role in THE AVIATOR, which also garnered her a fourth Golden Globe(R) Award nomination. Blanchett won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for 1998's ELIZABETH.

Judi Dench won an Oscar and a SAG Award for SHAKESPEARE in LOVE. The five-time Golden Globe(R) nominee won for her roles in MRS. BROWN and "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells." She has won six BAFTA Film Awards for IRIS, MRS. BROWN, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, A ROOM WITH A VIEW and FOUR IN THE MORNING.

Richard Eyre previously directed IRIS, which won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Jim Broadbent and Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for both Judi Dench and Kate Winslet. The film also won a BAFTA Award and was nominated for five including Best British Film and Best Screenplay, which Eyre co-wrote. Eyre's well-received STAGE BEAUTY featured an all-star cast including Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Rupert Everett and Tom Wilkinson. Eyre won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Single Drama for "Tumblewood" and the Evening Standard British Film Award for THE PLOUGHMAN'S LUNCH.

Patrick Marber's award-winning plays include "Closer," which won an Olivier, Evening Standard and London and NY Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, "Dealer's Choice," which won Writers Guild and Evening Standard awards for Best Comedy, "After Miss Julie," "Howard Katz" and "The Musicians." His work has been performed in more than a hundred cities across the globe. Marber's 2004 adaptation for the feature film CLOSER, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, was nominated for both Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards earlier this year. In August 2005, Paramount Classics will release ASYLUM (directed by David Mackenzie) from a screenplay co-written by Marber based on the novel by Patrick McGrath.

Production on NOTES ON A SCANDAL will begin in London in August. Claudia Lewis, Executive Vice President of Production, will oversee the project for Searchlight.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a filmmaker-oriented company that focuses on distinctive films helmed by world-class auteurs and exciting newcomers. It has its own marketing and distribution operations and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 12, 2005
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