WATCH: Mel Gibson Creates the Dictionary in ‘The Professor and the Madman’

Vertical Entertainment has released the new trailer for Farhad Safinia‘s “The Professor and the Madman” starring Academy Award winners Mel Gibson and Sean Penn.

Seemingly shelved for the past year, the film is based on the 1998 book “The Surgeon of Crowthorne” by Simon Winchester.  The film tells the story of James Murray (Gibson), a professor who in 1857 began compiling the Oxford English Dictionary and led the overseeing committee.  All while William Chester Minor (Penn), a doctor who submits over 10,000 entries while he is undergoing treatment at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Gibson, who won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1995 for “Braveheart,” began working on adapting the book over 20 years ago before it began production in 2016.  Originally intending to direct, Gibson hired Farhad Safinia, who co-wrote the 2006 hit “Apocalypto.”  The film also stars Natalie Dormer, Eddie Marsan, Jeremy Irvine, Ioan Gruffudd, Stephen Dillane, and Steve Coogan.

In July 2017, Gibson and his production company Icon Productions sued Voltage Pictures over their desire to control certain aspects of the production after they refused final cut privileges and an additional five days of production in Oxford.

Penn, who won two Academy Awards for Best Actor in 2003 and 2008 for “Mystic River” and “Milk,” joined the cast in August 2016.

Check out the trailer, along with new images from the film.

“The Professor and the Madman” opens in theaters on May 10.

SYNOPSIS:
Based on the worldwide best-selling novel by Simon Winchester, THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN is an extraordinary true tale of madness, genius, and obsession about two remarkable men who created history with the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary. The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and was one of the most ambitious, and revolutionary projects ever undertaken. Professor James Murray (Mel Gibson) took on the challenge of creating the most comprehensive dictionary ever compiled but knew that it would take him and his team over a century to compile all known definitions. However, by “crowdsourcing” the work, that is, by enlisting definitions from people all over the world, the dictionary could be compiled in mere decades. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W.C. Minor (Sean Penn), had submitted more than ten thousand words. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was a convicted murderer and being held at an asylum for the criminally insane.

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