Dame Judi Dench is set to play Queen Victoria for a second time in Victoria and Abdul, which will be directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and penned by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Dench was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Victoria in John Madden's Mrs. Brown. Frears' film tells the true story of Victoria's unlikely friendship with Abdul Karim, a young clerk from India who helps change her outlook on the world. Dench will be seen in two films later this year: period drama Tulip Fever and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton. Frears' next film is Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep.
Vera Farmiga will be setting aside the spooky stuff in The Conjuring 2 and Bates Motel to team up with Liam Neeson in The Commuter. In what sounds like Non-Stop on a train, the film stars Neeson as an ordinary businessman swept up in a deadly criminal conspiracy taking place during the commute home. Farmiga will play a mysterious woman who makes him an enticing offer with dire consequences. Frequent Neeson collaborator Jaume Collet-Serra will direct. [Deadline]