Writer/director William Nicholson on going home to make Hope Gap

Twice Oscar nominated for Gladiator and Shadowlands, writer William Nicholson is more than familiar with the glitz of Hollywood. But his latest film, Hope Gap, has taken him back home to the Sussex coast to retrace some of his personal history.

Based on his stage play, The Retreat From Moscow, it tells the story of a marriage which collapses after nearly 30 years and the effect both on the couple and their adult son, who finds himself caught in the middle of the fall-out. The Crown’s Josh O’Connor plays the son with Annette Bening and Bill Nighy as his parents.

Nicholson talks to The People’s Movies’ Freda Cooper about going back to his home town to film on location, why he chose the name of a local landmark as the title for the movie and his reasons for directing his first film in over 20 years. He also reflects on his preference for writing smaller, more intimate dramas and looks forward to his next project, working with director Ron Howard on Thirteen Lives, based on the Thailand cave rescue drama of 2018.


Hope Gap is released in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema on Friday, 28 August. Read our review here.