Shout! Studios has acquired U.S. and Canada rights to Studiocanal and Working Title’s cross-cultural British romantic comedy “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” with a view to releasing it in late spring, it was revealed at Berlin’s European Film Market on Tuesday.
Directed by veteran Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth”), “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” follows documentary-maker and dating app addict Zoe (Lily James), for whom swiping right has only delivered an endless stream of Mr Wrongs, to her eccentric mother Cath’s (Emma Thompson) dismay. For Zoe’s childhood friend and neighbor Kaz (Shazad Latif), the answer is to follow his parents’ example and opt for an arranged (or “assisted”) marriage to a bright and beautiful bride from Pakistan (Sajal Aly). As Zoe films Kaz’s journey from London to Lahore to marry a stranger, chosen by his parents, she begins to wonder if she might have something to learn from a profoundly different approach to finding love.
The cast also includes Shabana Azmi (“Halo”), Asim Chaudhry (“People Just Do Nothing”), Mim Shaikh (“Freehold”), Jeff Mirza (“Eternals”), Iman Boujelouah (“Kal & Cambridge), Mariam Haque (“Finding Alice”) and Sindhu Vee (“Starstruck).
The film is written and co-produced by Jemima Khan (“The Case Against Adnan Syed”) and her Instinct Productions. Producers also include Nicky Kentish Barnes (“About Time”) and Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
“What’s Love Got to Do with It?” debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022 and opened the Red Sea Film Festival.
Studiocanal fully financed the film and began its global distribution rollout with Australia in January. It will release in the U.K. on Feb. 24.
Shout! Studios is the entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital, home video and broadcast.
“Shekhar and Jemima’s hugely entertaining film combines the most foundational elements of a winning romantic comedy with a distinctly modern appreciation of cultural differences,” said Jordan Fields, senior VP of acquisitions and originals at Shout! Studios. “We’re certain that audiences will find this to be a joyful, emotionally rich and visually sumptuous addition to Working Title’s spectacular legacy of iconic and commercial comedies. Needless to say, we couldn’t be more proud to be their partners.”
Chloe Marquet, Sophie Leuthreau and Clara Hittinger closed the deal for Studiocanal.
Marquet said: “We’re very excited to partner with Shout! Factory on ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’ as their passion for our film is exhilarating. We are thrilled this will be a theatrical experience in North America and Canada, as we believe this is the film audiences need; a film made with love, about love and so much more. We can’t wait for audiences to discover Shekhar Kapur’s movie in theatres.”
Shout’s upcoming releases also include sci-fi comedy-drama “Linoleum”; epic fantasy adventure “The Magic Flute,” executive produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Jack Wolfe and Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham; action-comedy “Showdown At The Grand,” starring Oscar-winner Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren; neo-Western thriller “Head Count”; and documentary feature “Refuge” from levelFilm, Katie Couric Media and Artemis Rising.