British comic Russell Brand steps up to leading man status as he stars in Warner Bros.’ new comedy “Arthur.”
In this revamp of the classic ‘80s original, Brand re-invents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble.
Now he faces his biggest challenge—choosing between an arranged marriage to ambitious corporate exec Susan (Jennifer Garner), that will ensure his lavish lifestyle, or an uncertain future with the one thing money can’t buy, Naomi (Greta Gerwig), the woman he really loves.
As Arthur deals with this pressing decision, it raises larger and more pertinent questions about what he plans to make of his life and what he really wants. Does he have the courage to follow his heart, choose love and be a man…or will he surrender to more of what Hobson tartly calls “your safari into the pointless?”
Screenwriter Peter Baynham, an Oscar® nominee for his work on “Borat,” says, “What I like about ‘Arthur’ is its many facets. It goes beyond the boy-meets-girl romantic comedy structure with an equally engaging connection between Arthur and Hobson; it’s a coming-of-age story as well as a romance.”
Similarly, Brand’s Arthur is entirely his own, though faithful to the character’s most endearing and exasperating foibles. Producer Chris Bender, who feels this set the tone for the entire production, says, “For fans of the first film, I believe they’ll see there was a lot of consideration that went into this. We felt it was a story worth telling again, and made funny in a way that applied more to our times, without losing touch with the themes and relationships that made it so special in the first place.”
Regarding his predecessor’s performance, Brand says, “Dudley Moore was a joyful example of what can be accomplished through comedy and I have the greatest respect for him. His Arthur continues to exist and there’s no way we could take anything from it.”
“Essentially it’s a feel-good romantic comedy about an eccentric, incredibly lovable and innocent character, a big kid at heart, who’s finding his way in the world. There’s a lot of broad, physical comedy but also some touching moments between Arthur and the special women in his life,” says director Jason Winer.
Ultimately, adds Brand, “It’s about how love inspires us to be our best selves.”
Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 23, “Arthur” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.