In a pre-Toronto move, Miramax has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Ian McKellen’s “Mr. Holmes” and will partner with Roadside Attractions on domestic theatrical distribution.
The film, currently in post-production following a seven-week shoot in England, re-teams McKellen with director Bill Condon, a decade and a half after their collaboration on “Gods and Monsters.” Laura Linney also stars.
The film is based on the novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind” by Mitch Cullin and adapted for the screen by Jeffrey Hatcher.
Producers are Anne Carey (“The American”) of Archer Gray Productions and “The King’s Speech” producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films. Executive producers are Aviv Giladi and Len Blavatnik of AI Film, Christine Langan on behalf of BBC Films, which is also co-financing, and Amy Nauiokas for Archer Gray.
The film is set in 1947 when an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from Japan, where he’s been in search of a plant with powerful restorative qualities and has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. At his remote seaside farmhouse, he faces the end of his days tending to his bees with only the company of his housekeeper (Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker) — whom he comes to rely upon as he revisits an unsolved case which forced him into retirement.
Additional cast includes Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Roger Allam, Philip Davis and Frances de la Tour.
Zanne Devine oversaw the acquisition on behalf of Miramax with Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff from Roadside, and Graham Taylor of WME negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.
FilmNation Entertainment is the international sales agent for the film.