Proving it’s never too late for fresh starts, Dustin Hoffman is embarking on a brand-new directing career at the ripe old age of 75. His first feature is Quartet, a gentle Brit comedy-drama set in a home for retired opera performers.

Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Tom Courtenay plays a trio of longtime friends and colleagues enjoying their golden years together at the facility, only to be thrown off balance by the arrival of the former fourth member of their singing quartet — a famed diva played by Maggie Smith. Michael Gambon also stars, as an opera director. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Dustin Hoffman has long been established as one of the most significant actors of his generation, but he has never directed a film until now*. His directorial debut, Quartet, is based on an acclaimed play by Ronald Harwood (who also scripted Hoffman’s film) and it stars some real luminaries: Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon.They play residents at a retirement home for retired opera singers. Seriously.

Given that plot you might expect something fairly arid and stodgy, but the first trailer for Quartet suggests that it is a pretty broad comedy with crowd-pleasing aims. The trailer promises a gentle, slightly cheeky good time, and it’s a nice breath of comedy to kick off this light holiday week. Check it out below.

Edit: Apologies, but we’ve had to pull the embed.

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Dustin Hoffman to Direct Quartet

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Dustin Hoffman may be ready to make his directorial debut. He’s in talks to helm Quartet, which is being written by Ronald Harwood based on his play by the same name. The story is about an aging, retired intelligence agent who has to fend off violent attacks by younger, better armed operatives. Oops. Wait. That’s the story for Red, the movie with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and many more. This one is about elderly opera singers. Close enough? The cast is great, and the names are after the break. Read More »

Oscar-Winning Writer Hired For Martin Luther King Biopic

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Last May we heard that DreamWorks had picked up the rights to create an official biopic of Dr. Martin Luther King, with Steven Spielberg producing. At the time there was no other talent involved. Now, just a day or two late to make the announcement resonate perfectly with Monday’s MLK holiday, the studio has announced a screenwriter: Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for The Pianist. Read More »

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