Richard E. Grant And Brian Cox To Star In Animated Short ‘Wittgenstein’s Poker’

A legendary clash of intellects is set to be brought to life for the first time on screen in a captivating animated short film, WITTGENSTEIN’S POKER.

This short animation film tells the extraordinary tale of a real-life encounter between two of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers: Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. Their notorious dispute, known as the Cambridge Poker Incident, culminated in one of them allegedly threatening the other with a red-hot fire poker.

Starring in this animated gem, Richard E. Grant (WITHNAIL AND I) will take on the role of Ludwig Wittgenstein, while Karl Markovics (THE COUNTERFEITERS) will portray Karl Popper. Brian Cox (SUCCESSION) has been cast as Bertrand Russell, who was also present during the infamous confrontation in 1946. This remarkable ensemble will breathe life into this unique historic moment.

The film will be directed by Christian De Vita, known for his previous work as the lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX, Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE and for his role as Series Director on Disney Junior’s hit TV show PJ MASKS. The musical score will be composed by Oscar winning British composer Stephen Warbeck (BILLY ELLIOT) and the screenplay has been penned by Casey Cohen, who also serves as the film’s producer.

WITTGENSTEIN’S POKER will be produced as a traditional 2D hand-drawn animation film, embracing a watercolour style that promises to transport audiences into the intellectual battleground of these great philosophers, visualising emotion through the main characters’ journey to that fateful meeting.

Director Christian De Vita said: “Using a traditional 2D animation style, we aim to capture the intensity and brilliance of these iconic philosophers, creating a visually captivating narrative that will immortalise this historic moment on screen.” De Vita’s dedication to the project is evident and his passion is set to shine through in every frame of this short film.

This project is adapted from the internationally acclaimed book of the same name, written by two BBC journalists, David Edmonds and John Eidinow. The book has achieved best-seller status and boasts translations in 18 languages, with over half a million copies sold.

The team behind WITTGENSTEIN’S POKER have launched a Kickstarter campaign today, May 1st. Backers can anticipate exclusive rewards, such as signed script copies by all three cast members, a Wittgenstein drawing by Richard E. Grant, a storyboarding masterclass with the director Christian De Vita, a first edition copy of Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus’ from 1922, and a guided tour of the room at Cambridge University where this infamous confrontation took place.