Following a brief qualifying run at the end of last year, one of 2021’s final awards contenders is set to take the stage in a wider fashion in the coming weeks. Joe Wright’s musical adaptation “Cyrano,” which debuted to strong reviews all the way back at the Telluride Film Festival in early September, is set for a limited release on January 28 before a wider nationwide theatrical rollout on February 11. It’s the latest feature to come to theaters via MGM, which also launched “No Time to Die,” “House of Gucci,” and “Licorice Pizza” last year.
Starring Peter Dinklage as the title character, as well as Haley Bennett as Roxanne and Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Christian, Wright’s take on “Cyrano” is based on a stage musical by Erica Schmidt, the acclaimed playwright, and wife of Dinklage. Schmidt and Dinklage mounted a stage version of what would become the film back in 2018 with music from The National members Aaron and Bryce Dessner.
“She approached us, approached our band, The National, about getting involved and writing songs. We had never written songs for a musical or even had plans to do that. It was kind of a surprise when she called us and it took a little while to convince us to try it out,” Bryce Dessner told Gold Derby last year.
Wright was a fan: Bennett, his real-life partner, played Roxanne in the stage version as well and the director was captivated by the material. “I saw it in my head immediately,” he said at Telluride. “And I knew what it should look like and sound like and feel like, that there was a part of my own life experience that I could express through that story, and I wanted to return to the core of the work that I had started out making. I felt like some films I’ve made were exercises. And I could invest my heart and the child in me into that story.”
The result is a lavish and heartbreaking musical that left audiences at Telluride in literal tears and won rave reviews for Dinklage, who remains a major contender to land his first Best Actor nomination at the Oscars this year following multiple Emmy Award wins for “Game of Thrones.” “Cyrano” shot on location in Italy during October 2020 amid strict coronavirus health and safety protocols.
Watch a new featurette about the film – featuring Wright, Dinklage, Bennett, Harrison, and a look at the real-world locations where “Cyrano” shot – below. “Cyrano” is out on January 28 in limited release and debuts nationwide on February 11.
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