Beta Cinema has its first major presale for Departurea period drama starring Helena Bonham Carter based on the novel by Benjamin Myers, which stars Emmy winner Jessica Hobbs (The crown) will direct.
In an unusual move, indie distributors Curzon, Cineart and Madman have jointly acquired all rights to the film in the UK/Ireland, Benelux and Australia/New Zealand. Beta Cinema, that sells Departure worldwide, introduced the project to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin in February. Beta said it expects to announce further major territory deals soon.
set in North East England, shortly after World War II, Departure will see Carter play Dulcie Piper, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, bohemian recluse who strikes up an unusual friendship with 16-year-old Robert, a shy, nature-loving miner’s son determined to see something of the world before joining his father in the well. Under Piper’s guidance, in her idyllic seaside cottage and garden, Robert’s life is open to food, girls and the transformative beauty of poetry. But Piper has a tragic secret that keeps her in hiding. When Robert discovers the truth, he is forced to force her to open her own heart and start interacting with the world again.
“Departure offers a fresh take on post-war England, rejecting easy nostalgia and giving us two unique characters who strive to create beauty and meaning in a society stifled by years of conflict,” Curzon, Cineart and Madman said in a joint statement “Dulcie Piper is a dream role for Helena Bonham Carter, a perfect complement to her immense talent.”
Amy Roberts (The Wren, Call the midwife) is adapting Myers’ book for the screen. Hobbs directed Carter in several episodes of The crown, including the season four finale, which won Hobbs the Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series. She is currently in production on a limited HBO series The palace.
Charlotte Walls and Emily Bartelot produce Departure via their Catalyst Global Media clapboard. They developed the project with support from Beta Cinema. Production will start later this year.
The deal was brokered by Thorsten Ritter and Tassilo Hallbauer of Beta Cinema and Louisa Dent, Marc Smit and Paul Wiegard on behalf of Curzon, Cineart and Madman.
Bonham Carter is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant. Hobbs is represented by Casarotto Ramsay and Associates and CAA.