42 Taps Academy Award Nominee and BAFTA Winner Steve Coogan To Star in THE PENGUIN LESSONS for two-time Academy Award nominated director Peter Cattaneo

Los Angeles and London-based management and production company 42 (The Silent Twins, The Courier, “The Flatshare”) has set Academy Award Nominee and BAFTA Winner Steve Coogan (Philomena) to star in The Penguin Lessons for two-time Academy Award nominated director Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty, Military Wives). 42 partners Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh will produce alongside Robert Walak.  Jeff Pope wrote the script and will executive produce alongside 42 partner Josh Varney as well as Josh Horsfield and Tom Michell.  Rocket Science is handling international sales and introducing the film at EFM in Berlin, with CAA Media Finance representing the U.S. rights.


Based on Times Top Ten bestselling book of the same name by Tom Michell, The Penguin Lessons is the true story of a disillusioned Englishman who went to work in a school in Argentina in 1976. Expecting an easy ride, he discovered instead a complicated and divided nation – and a class of practically unteachable young boys. However, when he finds a small penguin washed up on an oil slicked beach, his life is turned upside down – and the penguin becomes not only a valued friend, but also a teacher of life’s most important lessons, for Tom, the boys and, in fact, everyone he meets.

42’s Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh said: “We were captivated by the true story of the unlikely bond between a man and a penguin from the moment we read Tom Michell’s book. Jeff Pope, the master of true story adaptation for the screen, has written an enchanting screenplay, with a backdrop of political upheaval and strife which Tom must navigate with his feathered companion. We couldn’t imagine anyone better to take on the lead role than Steve Coogan, one of the greatest actors working today, and of course the brilliant Oscar-nominated director Peter Cattaneo with whom we’re thrilled to be working again.”

Director Peter Cattaneo said, “With its visceral setting of the political strife of late 70s Argentina and a man’s unexpected bond with a penguin at its heart, I’m so excited to bring this original, charming, life-affirming and meaningful true story to the screen.”

Steve Coogan added: ““I’m delighted to be working with Jeff, Pete and 42 on a story about fascism, love and penguins!”


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