Amazon Studios is handling U.S. distribution on the period film. At Cinemacon in Las Vegas last month, Amazon’s head of marketing and distribution, Bob Berney, revealed that “Peterloo” would be making a play at the fall film festivals, with an eye on a domestic theatrical release in November. The U.K. scheduling would fit into that plan.
“Peterloo” tells the story of the infamous 1819 massacre at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, England, when many working-class people were injured and killed. Leigh has described the massacre as having a universal significance that is becoming “ever more relevant in our own turbulent times.”
The cast includes Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Leo Bill and Tim McInnerny.
Leigh has been nominated for seven Oscars, including five for original screenplay and twice for best director, for 1996’s “Secrets & Lies” and 2004’s “Vera Drake.” His most recent writing nomination came for 2010’s “Another Year.”
“Peterloo” marks his first film since 2014’s “Mr. Turner,” a biopic of painter J.M.W. Turner that was also released in the U.K. by eOne. “Mr. Turner” scored the veteran British filmmaker his biggest U.K. box office result, grossing £7 million ($11.2 million). His biggest U.S. release was “Secrets & Lies,” which took $13.4 million through October Films.
The new film is produced by Georgina Lowe and executive produced by Gail Egan. It is co-financed by Amazon Studios, Film4, the BFI and Lipsync. Film4 developed the film, which was shot on location in England last summer.
It reunites Leigh with some of his regular collaborators, including cinematographer Dick Pope, editor Jon Gregory, production designer Suzie Davies, costume designer Jacqueline Durran, composer Gary Yershon and makeup and hair designer Christine Blundell.
Cornerstone Films is handling international sales on the film.