'Atonement' director signs two-picture deal

Universal Pictures is back in business with “Atonement” helmer Joe Wright.

The studio and Working Title Films have inked a two-picture deal with the helmer, whose pic received seven Academy Award noms this week. Universal is also partnering with DreamWorks and Working Title on Wright’s next film, “Soloist,” which stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. and is currently in production.

U’s specialty arm Focus Features distributed Wright’s first feature, “Pride & Prejudice,” which received four Oscar noms, and, like “Atonement,” starred Keira Knightley. That pic was produced by Working Title and Studio Canal.

“Atonement,” which also stars James McAvoy, was nominated for best picture Oscar, among others, and has already won the Golden Globe for best drama.

Pic was nominated for 14 BAFTA awards, including picture and director.

Before he turned to filmmaking, Wright was a successful smallscreen director in the U.K.

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