Set in London in the 1950s, “Living” centers on Williams (portrayed by Nighy), a veteran civil servant who becomes a cog in the bureaucracy of rebuilding post WWII England. As the job starts to consume him, he learns he has seven months to live. The realization sparks his quest to find meaning in his life before it slips away.
The movie is currently in pre-production and expects to start filming in the U.K. this spring. Oliver Hermanus is directing “Living” from a screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro. The film is an English-language adaptation of the Akira Kurosawa classic “Ikiru,” written by Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni.
“Lionsgate is continuing its longstanding commitment to acquiring the best of British cinema and bringing the highest caliber entertainment to U.K. audiences,” said Jason Constantine, president of acquisitions and co-productions for the studio. “‘Living’ is a perfect example of a story that we are confident will resonate with UK audiences and we’re thrilled and proud to be this film’s home distributor.”
“Living” will be produced by Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. Film4 and Ingenious Media developed and co-financed the film.
“We are thrilled to be partnering once more with Lionsgate on the UK release of ‘Living,'” Woolley and Karlsen said in a statement. “They are a staunch supporter of independent U.K. film and it’s a privilege to be collaborating again, sustaining our long shared history. We feel confident that Living will be in good hands, and we look forward to delivering an inspiring, emotional and rousing cinematic experience. The combination of talent both in front of and behind the camera, inspired by Kurosawa’s original screenplay and Ishiguro’s reinterpretation, is both an exhilarating challenge and an exciting prospect, that Oliver Hermanus and Number 9 relish.”
Emma Berkofsky, Lionsgate’s U.K.-based senior acquisition and production executive, brought “Living” to the studio. The U.K. division recently merged with Constantine’s global acquisitions team and will continue to source local titles under the leadership of Berkofsky and Marie-Claire Benson, who oversees marketing and distribution in the U.K.
The deal for the UK distribution rights were negotiated by Woolley and by Berkofsky for Lionsgate. Rocket Science is handling sales.