Hollywood has a handful of entertaining actor-director combos. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot. James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But one that flies under the radar is director Bill Condon and the iconic Sir Ian McKellen.
Their partnership dates back to 1998, but they have reteamed multiple times over the years, including in the upcoming THE GOOD LIAR, which adds the immense talents of Dame Helen Mirren for good measure. The new film casts McKellen as a lethal con artist who may have met his match in his latest mark (Mirren). The plot reportedly contains a number of shocking twists, so the less we say about THE GOOD LIAR here, the better.
As we prepare for the November 15 release of GOOD LIAR, let’s revisit the previous Condon-McKellen collaborations, some of which are available to stream now via AMC Theatres On Demand.
Gods and Monsters
The duo’s first collaboration was the Oscar®-winning GODS AND MONSTERS, which cast McKellen as reclusive FRANKENSTEIN director James Whale. The movie explores Whale’s relationship with a young man played by Brendan Fraser, giving both actors multilayered characters to explore and showcase. The brilliant Lynn Redgrave also steals every scene she is in as McKellen’s loyal housemaid, Hanna. It’s a winning character piece in every facet.
It took 17 years after GODS AND MONSTERS for Condon and McKellen to reunite, finding the right project in a dramatic story about the final days of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. As portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen, Holmes has retired and is struggling with a few cases that he couldn’t solve. Holmes, in particular, is facing severe memory loss, and the inability of his precious brain to operate at the top of its expected game frustrates Holmes to no end. McKellen is exceptional, and Condon’s decision to pair him with Laura Linney helps MR. HOLMES succeed.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
A little bit of a cheat, as Sir Ian McKellen only contributes a voice to the character of Cogsworth in Bill Condon’s live-action adaptation of the classic Disney musical. But a vocal performance is still a performance, and McKellen truly is the ideal voice to lend to the disgruntled clock, and it kept McKellen on Condon’s radar, so that when he was ready to put THE GOOD LIAR together, the director knew exactly who to call.
You will be able to see what Condon and McKellen have cooked up when the Hitchcockian thriller THE GOOD LIAR makes its way to AMC theatres on November 15.