Roger Michell, the director best known for his work on movies such as Notting Hill, Changing Lanes and Venus has died yesterday aged 65, it has been announced. He leaves behind four children, two from each of his marriages.
The news was broken by his publicist via the PA news agency, with a statement saying: “It is with great sadness that the family of Roger Michell, director, writer and father of Harry, Rosie, Maggie and Sparrow, announce his death at the age of 65 on September 22.”
Michell was born in South Africa in 1956 and also lived in Beirut, Damascus and Prague while he was growing up. As well as directing movies, he was also a theatre lover and director and was the Resident Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company for six years.
He graduated from the BBC Directors’ Course and from there it was onwards and upwards as he was given bigger projects to work on, with Notting Hill being a massive hit and a movie that is still beloved and endlessly rewatchable to this day – thanks in no small part to what Michell brought to the movie from behind the camera.
He nearly had an even bigger project though when he signed on to direct the then second 007 movie for Daniel Craig, Quantum of Solace. Michell infamously walked away from the project before too long though when he took issue with the speed that the studio wanted the film out in – they wanted it out within a year and the script had not even yet been written.
The last movie of his released before his passing was the Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet starring, Blackbird that came out in 2019 but we still to get to see one last film by him that has been hit by COVID related delays. His now final film, The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, was scheduled to come out last year but, like many other movies over the last 18 months or so, has been delayed – now coming out at some point in 2022.