To celebrate the release of Hope Gap, the new drama starring Annette Bening, Bill Nighy, and Josh O’Connor, we sat down with the film’s creator to chat about the deeply personal film.

Grace (Bening) and Edward (Bill Nighy), married for 29 years, live in a small seaside town near a cove under the cliffs called Hope Gap. When their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to visit for the weekend, Edward informs him that he plans to leave Grace, that same day.

The film, which is based on one of Nicholson’s plays – The Retreat From Moscow – is based around the acclaimed writer’s parents’ marriage and being stuck in the middle when it started to dissolve. Nicholson told us about returning to the director’s chair two decades later, the sad lessons he learned from his first experience that wasn’t a happy experience for him (including cuts, casting, and releasing issues) and why now was the perfect time to tell this story.

You can watch the full interview below, including his thoughts on Gladiator 2, which seems to be edging closer becoming a reality and whether he would return if he was invited (he co-wrote the original):

Hope Gap opens in UK cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema on August 28th.