The movie will be called ‘Metanoia’ and will tell the story of Laing and his community at Kingsley Hall, East London in the 1960’s.
Tennant said: “I have long been fascinated by the life and work of RD Laing. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and discover this important man and I am honoured and thrilled to be involved in telling this story.”
Laing was a Sixties cult psychiatrist who used LSD on his patients and claimed families create madness. He wrote extensively on mental illness in particular, the experience of psychosis. He believed schizophrenia was a rational response to intolerable experiences.
He launched a psychiatric establishment called ‘Kingsley Hall’ and closed his community at the clinic. All the patients lived together and Laing encouraged residents of Kingsley Hall to embrace their so-called madness. Two of his patients jumped off the roof of the establishment and the property was raided by a drug squad.
James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery who is said to have taken LSD with Laing and later warned friends to stay off the drug after experiencing a ‘bad trip’.
The film is to be written and directed by Robert Mullan, who wrote three books about Laing.
Mullan said: “In the late 1960s, and throughout the 1970s, R.D. Laing was seen as the ‘high priest of anti-psychiatry’ and the so-called ‘Acid Marxist’ - lauded by his supporters for his daring and experimental work with disturbed people.”
He added “In truth, Laing simply tried harder than other psychiatrists to sympathetically understand the cracked minds of the people who came to see him. He gave them time and tried to see the world from their point of view.”
Shooting for the film will take place in 2016 in Cologne and London.