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Ian McKellen | Ian McKellen cast in The Critic

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Sir Ian McKellen has joined the cast of ‘The Critic’.

The 83-year-old actor will play feared but respected theater critic Jimmy Erskine in the upcoming thriller with Gemma Arterton and Mark Strong also starring in the film.

As reported by Deadline, Arterton will play actress Nina Land, who seeks to curry favor with Erskine, who sees her embroiled in a mystery involving blackmail, murder and more.

Strong’s character is the new owner of the Critic’s Diary, and the two find themselves at odds.

The supporting cast will include the likes of Lesley Manville, Romola Garai, Ben Barnes and Alfred Enoch.

The film is based on the 2015 novel “Curtain Call” by Anthony Quinn, with a story set in the London theater world in 1934.

‘Leap Year’ filmmaker Anand Tucker – who hasn’t directed a feature since the 2010 rom-com – will helm, while ‘Notes on a Scandal’ writer Patrick Marber has adapted the novel for the big screen.

The film is produced by Jolyon Symonds and Bill Kenwright, with executive producers including Tucker, Marber, David Gilbery, Mark Gordon, Tom Butterfield and Harry White.

Production on the film is said to be already underway in London.

Meanwhile, McKellen has previously admitted that he still feels like he’s “about 12” at heart.

He said: “When I was young, I always played old roles. And, of course, I had to imagine it.

“Because it means ‘old’? I had no idea! Now that I’m old, I know that. And I also know what it’s like to be young. Because as you get older, at Inside, there’s no age anymore. Inside? Honestly, I feel like I’m about 12 years old.

The ‘Lord of the Rings’ star turned 83 last month, but in 2021 he insisted actors already get so much attention he doesn’t need his own special day every year .

He added: “Actors don’t need that special attention, I realized. We get cards and gifts on the first few nights. Everyone makes fun of us. Birthdays are wonderful things for people. which are not treated as year-round specials.”