Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey is signing on for Banking on Mr. Toad, a CGI-live action blend about the life of Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame. Luis Mandoki (Message in a Bottle) is set to direct the Inspirational Films About Famous Authors sub-genre entry from a script by Timothy Haas.
Banking on Mr. Toad will follow Grahame, his wife Elsie and their son Alistair, a tragic young man born blind in one eye who would suffer horrible health problems throughout his brief life. Kenneth Grahame, who worked as secretary of the Bank of England, would spin the bed-time stories he told to ease Alistair’s pain into his classic children’s novel Wind in the Willows. Banking on Mr. Toad will combine live-action biopic with CGI sequences visualizing scenes from Grahame’s works.
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As reported by Variety, Lena Headey is poised to join the cast of Banking on Mr. Toad in the role of Elsie Grahame. Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is already signed on to play Kenneth Grahame. Legendary British thespian Brian Blessed is on-board as Kenneth’s friend, the noted philologist Frederick James Furnivall. The film is set to go into production next spring at Pinewood Studios in England after originally being set to shoot in Ireland, before financial problems put the production on hold.
Lena Headey has raised suffering for one’s children, and sometimes suffering because of one’s children, into a high art-form in her role as the ruthless Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. In Banking on Mr. Toad, Headey will once again be faced with a tragic set of circumstances revolving around her child. Headey can next be seen on the big screen alongside Dwayne Johnson and Vince Vaughn in the comedy-drama Fighting With My Family (the perfect Lena Headey movie title), about a former big-time wrestler eking out a living on the small-time grappling circuit.
Headey is also set to be in the center of a whirlwind of craziness when Game of Thrones finally returns for its last season, when Cersei Lannister presumably will get her violent comeuppance for years of coldly and brutally murdering everyone who messed with her and her kids (unless the show is planning on pulling a huge twist and letting Cersei prevail with help from the Iron Bank).
Banking on Mr. Toad sounds like it will give Lena Headey a chance to appear in something a little more uplifting, and certainly a lot more grounded in reality, than the fire-and-ice fantasy Game of Thrones. Inspirational Films About Famous Authors is a sub-genre that’s become popular in recent months, notable examples being the just-released Goodbye Christopher Robin about A.A. Milne, The Glass Castle about Jeanette Walls and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women about Dr. William Moulton Marston and the two women who helped inspire Wonder Woman (though the film’s veracity has been called into serious question by relatives of Marston).