Rodrigo Garcia's Albert Nobbs is "set among the servants' quarters in a luxury hotel in 19th century Dublin" and is "the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man (Albert Nobbs) in order to survive. The lead role belongs to Glenn Close, who played the part in a stage production in the early 80s.
The quoted plot details above come from a new casting notice that I was forwarded. As well as containing lots of character breakdowns for minor parts, which between them contain a nice smattering of spoiler information, the notice also reveals that the key role of Helen has gone to Mia Wasikowska. Previously, it was believed that Amanda Seyfried had won the role but the last we'd formally heard about that was very early in the year.
You'll have to tell me if you consider Wasikowski an upgrade to Seyfried or not.
Garcia and Wasikowska previously collaborated on the TV series In Treatment which, sadly, I have not seen but which I understand to be a real credit to both of them.
While Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Orlando Bloom and Michael Gambon have previously been attached to the project, none of those are listed amongst the cast on this new notice. On the other hand, there's nobody on the list that would seem to be an obvious replacement for them either, so they could all still be in the frame.
It seems like the key part to still be filled is that of Dr. Holloran. Here's his breakdown:
DR HOLLORAN – Age 55 to early 60s – approx 12 speaking scenes & 6 non-speaking – 'NAME' SUGGESTIONS ONLY
Doctor who is permanent guest at The Morrison Hotel, he is shabbily but not cheaply dressed and is a man of former substance who has fallen into careless ways. Though a guest, he often takes his meals with the staff in the kitchen. Fond of Albert, advises him about life. His wife lives in Belfast, as does his mistress – he has left them both. Decent man who cares for all the staff when the fever breaks out. Has discreet relationship with Mary, they move away together at the end of the story as he is "tired of secrets". Viewer should feel happy that he gets to go off with a nice gal. Should have the "demeanour of the unmade
bed". A good heart.
That may have been Gambon's part, or perhaps not. He'd certainly make an interesting choice for the role despite being somewhat older.
Garcia and co. start shooting on December 13th in Ireland. Apart from six days off around Christmas and New Year, they'll go on filming until January 28th.