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    Helen Mirren is playing Patricia Highsmith in a new thriller.

    Dan Sheehan

    February 7, 2023, 1:21pm

    Here’s a cool one.

    Dame Helen Mirren—the Oscar-winning star of The Queen, Gosford Park, Hitchcock, and, most recently, something called Shazam! Fury of the Gods—is set to star as the poet of apprehension herself, Patricia Highsmith, in an upcoming thriller film.

    Directed by Anton Corbijn (Control, A Most Wanted Man, many iconic music videos) and adapted for the screen by Joanna Murray-Smith from her play of the same name, Switzerland, a sort of imagined biopic in which life imitates art, is described as follows:

    Highsmith’s late life solitude in the Swiss Alps is interrupted by Edward, a young literary agent who is sent by the writer’s relentless publishing company to convince her to pen one last novel in her wildly popular Ripley series (which includes the classic The Talented Mr Ripley). Highsmith uses her famously macabre imagination to scare Edward away, but before they know it a collaboration ensues, leaving the world they’ve constructed indistinguishable from their own.

    Patricia Highsmith’s raft of iconic psychological thrillers, which include the “Ripliad,” Strangers on a Train, and Carol, have been adapted for the screen dozens of times over the past seven decades—from Alfred Hitchcock’s celebrated take on Strangers way back in 1951, to Adrian Lyne’s somewhat less celebrated version of Deep Water just last year—but, as far as I know, Switzerland will mark the first time a fictionalized version of Highsmith herself is committed to celluloid.

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