Entertainment One has snapped up rights to the pic, which is being shopped by Protagonist Pictures, for the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand in Cannes. The deal was negotiated by eOne’s Joel Kennedy and Protagonist’s Vanessa Saal.
Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft, who wrote “Urban Hymn” and U.K. click “St. Trinian’s,” pen the script about a woman whose life is turned upside down as she enters retirement. Eclipse Films and Powder Keg Pictures are producing.
While not in Protagonist’s official brochure for Cannes projects on offer this year, the title is already whetting the appetite of indie buyers, with eOne seeing pic’s “grey pound” potential, following the great success of titles geared toward older auds like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “The Lady in the Van,” which made $32.5 million and $19.1 million, respectively, in Blighty.
Eclipse Films’ John Sachs will produce alongside Andrew Berg, Powder Keg’s Leonard and Moorcroft and James Spring of Fred Films. Shooting is skedded for October.
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Staunton’s film career has included perfs in “Vera Drake,” “Another Year” and “Taking Woodstock,” while she won a younger fanbase for playing Dolores Umbridge in the “Harry Potter” franchise. Most recently she played Helfina Headon in Matthew Warchus’ “Pride,” for which she received a BAFTA nomination and a British Independent Film award for best supporting actress.
Loncraine made his mark with 1982’s “Brimstone and Treacle,” starring Sting and “The Missionary” starring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith. Subsequent credits include “Richard III,” with Ian McKellen and Robert Downey Jr., “Wimbledon” and “Firewall” starring Harrison Ford.
Loncraine, Leonard and Moorcroft are repped by Casarotto Ramsey Associates. Leonard and Moorcroft are also repped by Verve in Los Angeles.
Protagonist is on a roll this market, having already sold rights to Andrea Arnold’s hot Cannes title “American Honey” to Focus Features for a multi-territory deal including U.K., Germany, Oz, New Zealand, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.