Highland Film Group announced today that Academy-nominated, BAFTA Award-winning actor Steve Coogan (Philomena, The Trip) has signed on to play the title role of James Boswell in a feature film adaptation of acclaimed West End play, Boswell for the Defence.

Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers, Ned Kelly) will direct from a script by Patrick Edgeworth, who also wrote the play. Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman will produce. Armyan Bernstein will executive produce. The project is represented by Highland Film Group Internationally.

Boswell for the Defence tells the true story of how James Boswell (Steve Coogan), in the twilight of his career and life, takes on an impossible case - to save the life of the convict Mary Bryant from the gallows. A case no one else wants or cares about. The tragi-comic Boswell is the most unlikely hero from the most unlikely quarter. But he manages to find his past brilliance long enough to save the day.

Commenting on the casting, producers Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman said:

"Whether it be 'Lincoln' or 'Thatcher', bringing a historical figure to life is always a challenge, but Steve Coogan's extraordinary ability to blend humour and pathos make him the perfect artist to bring such a complex character like Boswell to the screen. We are excited to see him make this role his own."

Highland Film Group's Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier commented:

"We fell in love with the script, and combined with Gregor's vision and Coogan's talent - create the complete package which will be sure to resonate with buyers and appeal to global audiences. Plus we are looking forward to collaborating with talented producers such as Steve and Mark."

Production is set for 2015.