Oscar winner to play legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil in Frankel film

Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons will play Sir Henry Cecil in a film about Frankel’s extraordinary career.

The British film star won the 1991 Academy Award for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune.

Jeremy Irons. Credit: GTRES/PA Images

Frankel, produced by Eclipse Films, will chart the career of the unbeaten superstar. It will also focus on the bond between the horse and his late trainer.

“This is the story of how [Sir] Henry in his autumn years fought failure and illness to make Frankel the greatest champion racehorse of all time,” states the film’s synopsis.

Unbeaten in all 14 starts, winning all the honours and bowing out with an emotional victory in front of a capacity crowd at Ascot. The connection between Henry and Frankel was almost spiritual.

“They had a bond and connection: it was as if Frankel seemed to understand everything that [Sir] Henry was telling him to do, and [Sir] Henry credits Frankel for pulling him through some of his darkest moments… Frankel was his second lease of life and they made history together.”

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The film is produced by Eclipse Films, directed by Ron Scalpello and produced by John Sachs, Andrew Berg, Jeremy Irons and Kimberley Sachs. The script is written by Jim Piddock, who is also the executive producer.

Andrew Berg and John Sacs told screendaily.com that Jeremy was the “first choice” to play Sir Henry and that he has a “genuine love of horses”.

Sir Henry saddled 25 British Classic winners in his career, including Frankel, and also had a record 75 Royal Ascot wins.

The film’s release date and the actor who will play Frankel’s jockey, Tom Queally, are yet to be revealed.

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