The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reports that Mel Gibson is set to be joined alongside Sean Penn in the big screen adaptation of Simon Winchester’s book, The Professor and the Madman, which looks into the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Mel Gibson acquired the film rights to Winchester’s book back in 1998 and after nearly two decades the film is getting a big push with Voltage Pictures backing the film. The Professor and the Madman looks into the true story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, a tale that delves into madness, genius and two obsessive men who changed the course of literary history.
Mel Gibson will be playing the role of Professor James Murray, who in 1857 set about compiling the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. Sean Penn, who is technically still in negotiations for the role, could be playing Dr. W.C Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries but also was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Apocalypto writer Farhad Safinia is set to pen the screenplay and also direct the film, tweaking on an earlier draft penned by Todd Komarnicki and John Boorman.
There is no cinematic release date as of yet for The Professor and the Madman.