The Professor And The Madman — New Official Trailer


added: Wed, Mar 27th '19

Mel Gibson plays a 19th-century Scottish professor who befriends a mentally-ill American wordsmith (played by Sean Penn) in the new official trailer for "The Professor and The Madman," which is inspired by the incredible true story of how the Oxford English Dictionary was created.

The film, which co-stars Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), is based on the historical book of the same name by Simon Winchester.

Here, Gibson portrays Scottish Professor James Murray, a lexicographer from Oxford University, who was put in charge of completing the first publication of the Oxford English Dictionary. While facing mounting challenges, the professor was forced to put out a call, asking for the public's help in compiling a vast, comprehensive list of definitions.

Penn portrays William Chester Minor, a brilliant Yale-educated American doctor who not only answered the professor's call, but also became one of the dictionary's largest contributors, all while serving a life sentence for murder at an insane asylum.

Farhad Safinia, the writer of Gibson's acclaimed Mayan historical thriller "Apocalypto," directed and co-wrote the film. But due to disputes with producers that have since turned into a bitter lawsuit, Safinia did not approve of the film's final cut -- nor did Gibson. As a result, Safinia took his name off the movie, of what would have been his feature directorial debut.

Gibson, who is one of the main producers on the historical drama which was shot back in 2016, spend last year trying to block the film's release as he and Safinia took their case to court to win back the rights. They eventually ended up losing their bid.

"The Professor and The Madman" is now slated to hit select U.S. theaters and VOD May 10th.

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 "crowd sourcing" 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.


directed by   P.B. Shemran (aka Farhad Safinia)

starring   Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Steve Coogan, Eddie Marsan, David O'Hara, Stephen Dillane, Jennifer Ehle, Ioan Gruffudd, Jeremy Irvine, Brendan Patricks

release date   May 10, 2019 (in theaters and on VOD)

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