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Dustin Hoffman directs Maggie Smith on the set of 'Quartet' in London last September. (Rex Features/AP Images)

There have always been rumors that Dame Maggie Smith can be a diva, but now she’s going to play one in a new movie.

In Quartet, which marks actor Dustin Hoffman’s first credited debut as a film director (he unofficially co-directed 1978’s Straight Time), Smith stars as a retired opera diva who stirs up trouble when she moves to a retirement home for opera singers in England.

Other once golden-throated residents at the home are played by a who’s who of British acting talent, including Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly.

Trailer removed at the request of the Weinstein Company.

The comedy, which is based on a play of the same name by screenwriter Ronald Harwood (Being Julia), will open in the UK on Jan. 4. The movie will be distributed in the U.S. by the Weinstein Co., which has not yet announced a stateside release date.

Between this new movie, Downton Abbey and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has already grossed $123 million at box offices around the globe, Smith, 77, seems able to turn into gold whatever she touches in her golden years.


Are you putting Quartet on your must-see list?



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By Leah Rozen