Newmarket Films Acquires U.S. Rights to CREATION
[Press Release – Released by Newmarket Films]
New York, NY – Sep 24, 2009 – Newmarket Films announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to director Jon Amiel’s CREATION, a film which focuses on Charles Darwin and his family as he struggles to finish his legendary book “On The Origin of Species,” which went on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology. The screenplay was written by John Collee, based on the biography “Annie’s Box” which was penned by Darwin’s great-great grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas at Recorded Picture Company (The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast), with BBC Films and Ocean Pictures.
CREATION stars real-life couple Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) and Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind) as Darwin and wife. Newmarket’s Chris Ball and Robert Fyvolent negotiated the deal for Newmarket, and HanWay Films CEO Tim Haslam negotiated on behalf of the producer. Newmarket plans to release the film in December.
In CREATION, Amiel (The Singing Detective, Entrapment) and Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) bring to life a psychological love story that gives a unique and intimate perspective on Darwin, his love for his family and his deeply religious wife, and his struggle to find a balance between faith and science. The film co-stars Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon, Infamous) and Jeremy Northam (Gosford Park, Amistad).
“We at Newmarket pride ourselves in getting behind important films that help open the door for discussion and conversation, as is the case with CREATION,” said Newmarket’s Chris Ball. “While Darwin’s name has come to symbolize one side of a debate between the scientific and the theological, CREATION personifies the debate, with both sides contending, sometimes violently, within the man. In that sense, we believe that the film will appeal both to people of faith and people of science.”
“The gala opening of CREATION at Toronto generated excitement amongst a large audience,” said Jeremy Thomas. “Every producer wants to share his belief in a film with a distributor, and in Newmarket I have found a group who are passionate about reaching a wide audience with CREATION. I think back to what they did with The Passion of the Christ, a very different film but one that also challenged people’s ideas, and am happy to be working with people who can achieve this. We hope the debate doesn’t get in the way of what is a human story, with bigger issues at its core.”
Tim Haslam said: “I’m thrilled that Newmarket have recognized the broad appeal of CREATION, a beautiful and emotional film.”
Jamie Laurenson, Executive Producer, BBC Films said, “BBC Films are proud to have been involved in the development and co-financing of CREATION. We are delighted that Jon Amiel’s powerful and important film will find a US audience through such a committed distribution partner.”
Founded in 1994 by Will Tyrer and Chris Ball, Newmarket has had unparalleled success in the financing, production, and distribution of independent motion pictures, setting the industry standard with such titles as Memento, Donnie Darko, Whale Rider, Monster, The Prestige, Downfall and The Passion of the Christ.
Recorded Picture Company was founded in 1974, and has since produced nearly fifty films, including Bernardo Bertolucci’s nine-time Academy Award winner The Last Emperor. Recent films include Sexy Beast, Young Adam, The Dreamers and Fast Food Nation. RPC’s slate includes upcoming films from David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam and Phillip Noyce.
HanWay Films’ current slate also includes the Toronto titles An Education by Lone Sherfig starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, The Boys Are Back by Scott Hicks starring Clive Owen, Harry Brown starring Michael Caine, Perrier’s Bounty starring Cillian Murphy and Jim Broadbent, and Danis Tanovic’s Triage starring Colin Farrell. Films in post include Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy, We Want Sex starring Sally Hawkins from producer Stephen Woolley, Chris Smith’s Black Death, and Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife.
BBC Films, the BBC’s feature film making arm, is committed to the development and production of feature films. BBC Films’ recent productions include: Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop, Tom Hooper’s The Damned United, Saul Dibb’s The Duchess, Mark Herman’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Maybury’s The Edge of Love and Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road. Forthcoming titles include Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Grant Heslov’s The Men Who Stare at Goats, Stephen Poliakoff’s Glorious 39 and Scott Hicks’ The Boys Are Back.
Ocean Films is the production company of Christina Yao. It currently has Empire of Silver on release, a historical epic about a Chinese banking family, which was written, produced and directed by Christina Yao, who is also the director of many theatre productions.