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June 22nd 2019   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

‘Blithe Spirit’ With Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher Scores International Sales

Filming has started on “Blithe Spirit,” an adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic comedy about love that just won’t die. Judi Dench, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens are among the cast in the picture, which is helmed by Edward Hall (“Downton Abbey”). Protagonist has closed a raft of pre-sales on the project, which was previously adapted for the screen by David Lean in 1945.

Other cast members in the movie from Fred Films, Powder Keg Pictures, British Lion Films, Align Pictures and Protagonist Pictures include Leslie Mann, Julian Rhind-Tut, Emilia Fox, Dave Johns, and James Fleet.

The story tracks crime writer Charles (Stevens), who is struggling with writer’s block and a deadline for his first screenplay. His second wife, Ruth (Fisher), is doing her best to keep him focused in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood. When Charles invites medium Madame Arcati (Dench) to perform a séance, she accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife, the fiery and jealous Elvira (Mann), who embarks on a mission to kill Charles.

“The cast and team that have gathered together to realize this colorful and original comedy are testament to the enduring appeal of Noel Coward’s unique story,” said Hall, who described the tale as “elegant, escapist and anarchic.”

Studiocanal has snapped up the U.K. rights to the film, which is being financed by Align, the newly formed L.A.-based production and financing group. Align CEO Adrian Politowski and SVP of production Martin Metz are producing. James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft, who count “Fisherman’s Friends” among their credits, are also producing, alongside Hilary Bevan Jones (“Pirate Radio”), Peter Snell (“The Wicker Man”), and Toni Pinnolis. Leonard and Moorcroft wrote the screenplay with Piers Ashworth.

Protagonist is handling sales and has closed a raft of deals, including with Transmission for Australasia, A Contracorriente for Spain, Scanbox for Scandinavia, Cinepolis for Latin America and Forum Films for Israel.

“We were confident this timeless comedy, paired with a stellar cast, would entice buyers and are absolutely thrilled to return from Cannes with such strong partners,” said Vanessa Saal, managing director for sales and distribution at Protagonist.

(Variety)


May 20th 2019   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher to star in UK comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ for Protagonist (exclusive)

Judi Dench, Dan Stevens and Isla Fisher will lead the cast of Edward Hall’s Blithe Spirit, based on Noel Coward’s 1941 play.

London-based Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide rights on the project and has inked a series of early pre-sales on the title including Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), Spain (A Contracorriente Films), Airlines (Echo Lake Distribution), South Africa (Empire Entertainment), Middle East (Front Row), and Greece (Tanweer).

The feature will be a re-imagining of Coward’s comedy stage play, in which a best-selling crime novelist suffering from writer’s block struggles to finish his first screenplay. His quest for inspiration leads him to invite an eccentric mystic to his home to perform a séance. He gets more than he bargained when they inadvertently summon the spirit of his first wife.

The project will start shooting on June 17 in and around London. Producers are Fisherman’s Friends trio James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft, alongside Hilary Bevan Jones, Peter Snell and Tuni Pinnolis. The project is a Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures production in association with British Lion Films.

Producers Leonard and Moorcroft also wrote the screenplay with Piers Ashworth. Alongside Spring, the trio are also working on a feature film about Jamaican-born musician and chef Levi Roots, announced earlier this week.

Director Hall’s credits include period series Downton Abbey, which Screen Star of Tomorrow 2006 Stevens starred in, and 2012 TV movie Restless.

Coward’s Blithe Spirit was previously adapted for the screen by David Lean in 1945.

(Screen Intl)