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Lionsgate Acquires U.K. Rights to ‘Churchill,’ Starring Brian Cox (EXCLUSIVE)

Brian Cox (seen on location, above) plays the British World War II leader, with Miranda Richardson as his wife, Clementine

Lionsgate Intl. UK has added “Churchill,” starring Brian Cox as the British World War II leader and Miranda Richardson as his wife, Clementine, to its 2017 movie release slate in the U.K. The film was acquired from Embankment Films.

The movie, which also stars John Slattery and Ella Purnell, was directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (“The Railway Man”) and written by Alex von Tunzelmann. It was produced by Nick Taussig, Paul Van Carter, Piers Tempest and Claudia Bluemhuber. The film is scheduled to be released in the summer.

The title marks the studio’s second partnership with Teplitzky and producer/financier Silver Reel, having released “The Railway Man,” starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, in 2013.

This addition to the slate builds on what already promises to be a record year in terms of the breadth of British product handled by the studio. The 2017 schedule includes Toronto Intl. Film Festival entry “Their Finest,” directed by Lone Scherfig and starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy, which will be released in April, alongside Adam Smith’s “Trespass Against Us,” starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, which is expected in cinemas in March. Later in the year the studio will release the Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke starrer “The Limehouse Golem,” written by Jane Goldman.

The upcoming slate also includes Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” which has been earning rave reviews on the festival circuit, Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day,” Dean Israelite’s “Power Rangers” and Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

Lionsgate International UK has also invested heavily in British productions during 2016-17, and will add “On Chesil Beach,” starring Saoirse Ronan, which is shooting in locations across Britain; “Filmstars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” produced by Barbara Broccoli and starring Jamie Bell, Annette Benning and Julie Walters; “Submergence,” starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy; and “Ghost Stories,” also shooting and starring Martin Freeman, to its upcoming release schedule.

Zygi Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate UK and Europe, said: “As a company we’ve always taken pride in being the largest supporter in distribution of homegrown talent and material, and I’m delighted to say that this year is no different. I’m exceptionally proud of our upcoming slate and what looks to be our strongest year ever. To be able to release British films and support British talent within a slate that includes the festival sensation ‘La La Land,’ one of the best reviewed films of the year, and blockbuster titles ‘Power Rangers’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ is a truly unique opportunity for us as a studio.”

The latest British additions to the Lionsgate International UK slate follow in the footsteps of several pics from the U.K. released by the studio in the past year, including box-office hit “Brotherhood” from Noel Clarke in August, “Eddie the Eagle” in April, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” in January, and Duncan Kenworthy’s “The Pass” in December. These titles were scheduled alongside titles such as Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon,” the Gerry Butler-starrer “London Has Fallen,” the critically acclaimed “Sing Street” and horror pic “Blair Witch.”

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