Watch the trailer for fascinating dictionary drama ‘The Professor and the Madman’

New period drama movie The Professor and the Madman has got its first trailer.

The film is described as “an extraordinary true tale of madness, genius, and obsession about two remarkable men who created history with the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary.”

Mel Gibson and Sean Penn lead the cast, alongside Natalie Dormer (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Ioan Gruffudd (Hornblower), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Laurence Fox (Lewis), Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice) and comedian Steve Coogan.

The Professor and the Madman is based on the book The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester.

Watch the trailer:

The official synopsis reads: “The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and was one of the most ambitious, and revolutionary projects ever undertaken.

“Professor James Murray (Mel Gibson) took on the challenge of creating the most comprehensive dictionary ever compiled, but knew that it would take him and his team over a century to compile all known definitions. However, by “crowd sourcing” the work, that is, by enlisting definitions from people all over the world, the dictionary could be compiled in mere decades.

“As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W.C. Minor (Sean Penn), had submitted more than ten thousand words.

“When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was a convicted murderer and being held at an asylum for the criminally insane.”

The Professor and the Madman doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet, but it’s expected to arrive later in 2019.

Simon Winchester’s book The Surgeon of Crowthorne is available on Amazon.