|The Riot Club|
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lone Scherfig|
|Written by||Laura Wade|
by Laura Wade
|Music by||Kasper Winding|
|Edited by||Jake Roberts|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$3.5 million|
The Riot Club is a 2014 British drama film directed by Lone Scherfig and written by Laura Wade, based on Wade's 2010 play Posh. The film stars Sam Claflin, Max Irons and Douglas Booth. It is set among the Riot Club, a fictional all-male, exclusive dining club at the University of Oxford. When the play Posh premiered, the Riot Club was often described as a thinly veiled version of the real-life Bullingdon Club, although according to Wade it is entirely fictitious.
Alistair (Sam Claflin) and Miles (Max Irons), both with aristocratic connections, start their first year at Oxford University. Miles is friendly and level-headed, cordially offering to switch rooms when Alistair's assigned room does not meet with his parents' approval, and beginning a relationship with Lauren (Holliday Grainger), who has a working-class background. Alistair is an insecure, arrogant and cold-hearted snob. The two are tutorial partners at Oxford, where Alistair is blatant in his contempt for Miles and his right-leaning politics.
The Riot Club, a long-established exclusive drinking club priding itself on hedonism and the belief that money can buy anything, is on the hunt for new members to maintain its roster of ten men, all of whom must be educated at public-school. Alistair is invited by Harry, whom he has met during the start of their term. Miles, who was out drinking in the pub, is invited by Hugo, another Riot Club member. Hugo is out, and he and Miles exchange charged looks throughout the film. Alistair finds a new friend in Harry, who introduces him to his Uncle Jeremy (Tom Hollander), a senior Conservative MP--which Alistair himself aspires to be one day. After undergoing an unpleasant initiation, both Miles and Alistair become members of the Riot Club.
Having been barred from most establishments in Oxford, the club have their annual dinner at the function room in a country pub. Alistair and Miles are both surprised to see each other there, Alistair showing open disdain. The Club begin their dinner, and though the landlord is initially excited to have a wealthy, aristocratic party dining at his establishment, their raucous behaviour annoys the pub's other patrons, some of whom leave. Chris, the landlord, is put off by their behaviour and tells them that they are disrupting his business; the boys settle with an arrangement with him paying for his losses to let them continue to stay, which he reluctantly accepts. After the escort Harry hired refuses to perform group oral sex, Alistair takes Miles' phone and texts Lauren without Miles knowing. Lauren then shows up to the pub to the surprise of Miles, whom the boys promptly proposition to do what the escort would not. Hurt that Miles did nothing while they insulted her, Lauren then attempts to leave the pub, but is assaulted by one of the members. Miles struggles to rescue her as the other members hold him back. Hugo intervenes and orders the boys to let her leave, which she does.
Miles, drunk and seemingly depressed after what happened to Lauren, stays quiet for the rest of the night, while Alistair works up the rest with his political ideals of the rich and the poor. Getting progressively more drunk and ingesting drugs, they start to wreck the room. When Chris comes to confront them, Alistair insults Chris by giving him money which he does not accept, telling them they are no better than a bunch of kids breaking shop windows and that they are just spoiled brats. Alistair punches him followed by the others who viciously attack him until he becomes unconscious. While the members become frantic realizing what they just have done, Miles calls for an ambulance.
The boys are all arrested but believing that the club is more important than the individual, they agree not to give statements. The club meet after the incident and agree that Miles, as the newest club member, should take the blame for the attack on Chris. Miles tries to apologise to Lauren, who tells him to never talk to her again. Later, Chris's skin is then found underneath Alistair's fingernails, meaning they can arrest and charge him. Alistair is sent down (expelled) from Oxford, being the only one arrested for the incident, whilst the rest were allowed to continue their studies without any criminal charges. After a talk with the dean, Miles is approached by the new president of the Riot Club (Guy Bellingfield) to re-join next year, but after nearly having to leave university because of the scandal, he decides to leave the club, a decision which the new president mocks.
Alistair is invited to a meeting with Jeremy in London, who asks for the Riot Club to be kept out of future court appearances, and assures Alistair that in spite of being kicked out of Oxford, the boy is still a Riot member. Though Alistair is at first aggressively dismissive of Jeremy's proposed assistance, Alistair is brought around when Jeremy offers the boy a position in his office and an assured future. The film concludes with Alistair leaving the meeting with Jeremy, a smug smile on his face as he walks down the street.
On 5 February 2013 it was reported that HanWay and Blueprint Pictures would produce the adaptation of the play Posh written by Laura Wade. The producers would be Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin, with the BFI Film Fund and Film4 Productions. On 15 March 2013 Robert Pattinson, Sam Claflin, Max Irons and Douglas Booth were understood to be under consideration to play the lead. On 18 March Max Irons was confirmed as the lead. On 19 May 2013 Sam Claflin also joined the cast, as well as Douglas Booth. On 20 May 2013 Universal Pictures International acquired the film for UK and Irish rights. On 11 July 2013 Natalie Dormer also joined the cast.
The shooting of the film began on 30 June 2013 in Oxford, England. The crew were spotted during the filming of scenes at Magpie Lane. Filming also took place at Pinewood studios and Winchester College.
The first trailer for the film was released on 16 May 2014.