THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Eva Green and Gemma Arterton will star in drama Vita & Virginia, based on the true story of the love affair and friendship between literary icon Virginia Woolf and author Vita Sackville-West.
The film will be directed by British helmer Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) from a script by Eileen Atkins based on her own play of the same name, which debuted in 1992.
Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and then met socialiate and author Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson, in 1922. They began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a decade, as shown in their various letters and diary entries. After their affair ended, they remained friends until Woolf’s death in 1941.
Katie Holly and Evangelo Kioussis are producing the project while Simon Baxter will executive produce. Protagonist is introducing the project to buyers at EFM in Berlin.
Green was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and White Bird in a Blizzard with Shailene Woodley. She’ll soon be seen in Euphoria with Alicia Vikander and Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story.
Arterton’s recently films include Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest with Sam Claflin, and she has The Escape with Dominic Cooper coming up. She’s also attached to Julie Delpy’s My Zoe. (source)
DEADLINE – Julie Delpy is set to star alongside Gemma Arterton and Daniel Brühl in My Zoe, an emotional and provocative drama directed by Delpy from her own script.
It’s scheduled to shoot in the UK next Spring and the story is about the lengths to which a mother’s love goes for her child. Delpy plays Isabelle, a geneticist recovering from a toxic marriage and raising her daughter Zoe in conjunction with her ex-husband. Zoe means everything to her mother but when tragedy strikes the fractured family, Isabelle takes matters into her own hands.
Brühl and Arterton play a couple Isabelle turns to for help in Moscow while Lior Ashkenazy (Big Bad Wolves, Footnote) plays Isabelle’s new boyfriend. The role of ex-husband James is currently being cast.
London-based sales banner Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales on the film and will launch the title to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin in February.
Gabrielle Tana (Philomena, The Duchess) produces for Baby Cow Films, whose most recent projects include Steve Cantor documentary Dancer and Andrew Fleming’s Ideal Home with Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd, set for an early 2017 release. Electrik Films France’s Hubert Caillard and Dominique Boutonnat will co-produce.
“I started thinking and taking notes about this film over 20 years ago,” said Delpy. “It first came to my mind discussing with [director Krzysztof] Kieslowski about parenting, love and fate. The film is about the unconditional love you feel as a parent. It was a very profound process to write it. I gave it all the truth I had and I hope it resonates with others.”
Protagonist CEO Mike Goodridge said: “My Zoe is one of those movies that people stand around and argue about. Julie has created a compulsive drama about what it means to be a parent and what lengths a parent will go to for their children.” (source)
VARIETY – Independent has picked up international sales duties on “The Escape,” a drama about a woman who abandons her husband and children. The film, which is directed by Dominic Savage (“Love+Hate,” “Freefall”), stars Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper. It will be introduced to buyers at Toronto.
Arterton stars in Toronto festival entry “Their Finest,” while Cooper is a hit on AMC’s “Preacher.”
” ‘The Escape’ will be an exploration of marriage and motherhood,” said Arterton. “It is frank, honest and unapologetically from the woman’s point of view. It will be extremely personal. I look forward to embarking on it, surrounded by people I trust and who understand the intention, and to digging deep and finding truth.”
The production team have workshopped the script for several months, and shooting is scheduled for October in the U.K. and France.
Independent’s managing director Andrew Orr said: “The Escape” deals with a subject that is “still very much taboo in our society – a woman who loves her children but does not feel fulfilled by the role of being a mother.”
Savage said: “I look forward to embarking on a journey of truth and revelation that will tell this important story of motherhood, marriage, responsibility and freedom.” (source)
by Ali Jaafar
Netflix and the BBC are teaming on a blockbuster adaptation of the classic novel Watership Down. The four-part animated miniseries is the brainchild of dynamic Brit production-management banner 42. The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK and internationally on Netflix. An A-list collection of talent has been assembled for the project including Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ John Boyega, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton.
By Emily Hardy
Full casting has been announced for the West End transfer of Jessica Swale’s new play Nell Gwynn, directed by Christopher Luscombe.
The full cast includes Paige Carter, Michele Dotrice, Matthew Durkan, Michael Garner, Greg Haiste, George Jennings, Ellie Leah, Peter McGovern, David Rintoul, Anneika Rose, Nicholas Shaw, David Sturzaker, Jay Taylor, Sasha Waddell and Sarah Woodward.
Award-winning Gemma Arterton (The Duchess of Malfi, Made in Dagenham, Quantum of Solace) stars as cheeky, charming and clever Nell Gwynn, one of the first, and most acclaimed, women to appear on the London stage.
Following its critical acclaim and a sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe, Nell Gwynn will be on at the Apollo Theatre for a strictly limited season from 4 February 2016.
Jessica Swale’s entertaining new play Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King.
DEADLINE – Gemma Arterton has been set to star in Catherine Shepherd’s directorial debut Like A Virgin. Kate Ogborn produces the feature project, which has been developed with the BFI.
The story follows the character of Mary, who is visited by the Angel Gabriel while off her head following a night out. Gabriel tells her that she has been chosen by God to give birth to the next Messiah. The film looks at what happens when a girl who isn’t ready to grow up is chosen to save the world?
Shepherd is a mult-talented actress and writer. In addition to acting in the likes of Paddington, she has also previously worked on cult Brit comedy faves such as Peep Show, The IT Crowd and also collaborated with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.
Arterton has been on a tear of late, with a number of prestige projects in the pipelines, including Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest Hour And A Half, Colm McCarthy’s She Who Brings Gifts and Arnaud des Pallieres’ Orpheline opposite Adele Exarchopoulos.
Fly Film was set up in 2009 by Emmy and Bafta award-winning producers Lisa Marie Russo and Kate Ogborn. They have produced feature films by Terence Davies, Ken Loach, Turner prize winning artist Gillian Wearing and artist and filmmaker Andrew Kotting. Their most recent film was Randall Wright’s Hockney. Ogborn is currently developing feature films with Marc Munden, Harry Wootliff, Grant Gee, Samantha Morton and Tony Grisoni. (source)
DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE – Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Bill Nighy (The Second Best Marigold Hotel) are set to star in Their Finest Hour and a Half, with Lone Scherfig (An Education) directing.
BBC Films developed and co-finances the film, which is being produced by Oscar-nominated producers Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films, led by Stephen Woolley (Made in Dagenham) and Amanda Posey (Brooklyn).
Gaby Chiappe has adapted Lissa Evans’s 2009 novel set in early 1940’s World War II London. A romantic comedy imbued with the screwball repartee of classic Hollywood of the time (think a Brit His Girl Friday), Their Finest Hour and a Half is a battle of the sexes that follows the misadventures of a British movie crew trying to make a patriotic film to boost morale during the Blitz.
BBC Films’ Christine Langan and Ed Wethered will exec-produce. HanWay, still hot off the headline-making $9 million Sundance sale of Brooklyn to Fox Searchlight, have boarded worldwide sales rights.
“Gaby Chiappe’s skilful adaptation of Lissa Evans’s brilliantly comic and moving wartime novel is a stunning film debut,” commented BBC Films’ head Christine Langan. “Their Finest Hour and a Half is a funny and touching romance with a great female lead role that is entertaining and emotional in equal measure,” added Hanway managing director Thorsten Schumacher.
The prestige pic is set for a late summer shoot, and reps another classy title from vet collaborators and Brit film industry stalwarts Posey and Woolley. Posey most recently produced Brooklyn with Finola Dwyer while Woolley has another stellar looking feature in the pipelines in Todd Haynes’ Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Kyle Chandler. Elizabeth Karlsen is a producer alongside Woolley for that project. Hanway is handling sales on both those titles. (source)