Richard Burton biopic ‘Mr Burton’ adds Toby Jones and Lesley Manville to cast

A new movie about the formative years of film-star Richard Burton has been announced!

Titled Mr Burton, the biopic will focus on the teacher who inspired the young Welsh actor.

Toby Jones from Mr Bates vs. The Post Office will lead the cast as Welsh schoolmaster Philip Burton, who took a wild young schoolboy called Richard Jenkins under his wing.

“Richard dreamed of becoming an actor, but his ambitions were in danger of being derailed by a combination of family trouble, the pressure of war, and his own lack of discipline,” says the synopsis on Deadline.

“Mr Burton recognised the raw talent in his pupil, and made it his mission to fight for him, becoming his tutor, strict taskmaster and eventually his adoptive father.”

Born in 1925, Richard went on to establish himself as an acclaimed Shakespearean actor in the 1950s and was later nominated for an Oscar seven times during his movie career, but sadly never won.

Joining Toby Jones in Mr Burton will be Lesley Manville – who you’ll recognise from The Crown, World on Fire and Magpie Murders.

The wonderful English actress will play Philip Burton’s landlady and close confidante ‘Ma Smith’, who becomes a guiding force for young Richard.

Filming on Mr Burton will begin in late spring this year, with Marc Evans (Manhunt) directing from a script by Tom Bullough and Josh Hyams.

Also in the cast are Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Peaky Blinders) and Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), playing Richard’s elder sister and brother-in-law, ‘Cis’ and ‘Elfed’.

The two siblings took care of the young Richard – the twelfth of thirteen children – following their mother’s death when he was just 2 years old.

“The script is emotional and nuanced, and it will be a joy to see our characters brought to life by such a stellar cast,” commented producer Ed Talfan.

Mr Burton is aiming for a release date in 2025, coinciding with the centenary of Richard Burton’s birth.

The movie has been described as “following in the footsteps of films about inspirational teachers like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting” by Sarah Lebutsch at Independent Entertainment.

Mr Burton is a touching story about the people without whom legends like Richard Burton wouldn’t exist,” she added.

The Richard Burton Diaries book is available on Amazon.