Ben Latham-Jones has fully acquired London’s Ealing Studios Entertainment, and has added several projects to the company’s production slate.
Latham-Jones, who joined the company in 2013 as a partner with Barnaby Thompson, takes over as head of the studio from Thompson. Latham-Jones is looking to expand the Ealing brand, best known for the 1950s comedies, and take “the studio to the next level.”
The new projects include “Encounter,” written and directed by Dominic Savage (“Love + Hate”); “Fisherman’s Friends,” written by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, who co-wrote “St. Trinian’s”; “Vacation,” a Swedish drama written and directed by Jesper Ganslandt (“Blondie,” “The Ape”), starring Noomi Rapace (“Prometheus,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”) and Marwan Kenzari (“Ben Hur,” “Autobahn”); and the recently announced “Callas,” also starring Rapace.
Ealing is also producing with George Simenon Ltd. two stand-alone films for ITV based on Georges Simenon’s classic “Maigret” novels, with Rowan Atkinson playing the lead role of the Parisian detective.
Latham-Jones has produced three movies for Ealing Studios with Thompson: “Nina,” starring Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo in a film about the jazz musician Nina Simone, which is being distributed by Entertainment One and Universal; “Kids in Love,” starring Will Poulter, Alma Jodorowsky and Cara Delevingne; and “D-Train,” starring Jack Black, James Marsden and Kathryn Hahn, financed with Sony Pictures Worldwide and recently released in the U.S by IFC. Latham-Jones has also recently worked with Julie Taymor on the theatrical film adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” starring David Harewood and Kathryn Hunter.
“This is a new and exciting next chapter for Ealing Studios,” Latham-Jones said. “We’re looking forward to taking the studio to the next level with a strong slate of exciting new fully financed productions, and building a creative hub here for international filmmakers and becoming the home for British talent.”
Before joining Ealing, Latham-Jones worked as a creative director for Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Searchlight.
Thompson will focus his attention on being a filmmaker full time. “‘I want to concentrate on my upcoming directing projects,” he said. These will include projects with Ealing.
Thompson will retain his shares in Ealing Studios Operations, which runs the stages and facilities business side of the business, alongside partners, Harry Handelsman and Uri Fruchtmann.