Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Focus will distribute the film in the U.S. with Universal Pictures handling international distribution. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is producing the movie, with Mr. Anderson and JoAnne Sellar producing through his Ghoulardi Film Company. The film will begin production in January for release in 2017.
Continuing a creative collaboration following 2007’s There Will Be Blood, which earned Mr. Day-Lewis the Best Actor Academy Award, and the film nominations for Best Picture, Directing, and Screenplay, Mr. Anderson will once again explore a distinctive and surging milieu of the 20th century through the new movie – the couture world of 1950s London.
Mr. Day-Lewis has also won the Best Actor Academy Award for his performances in Lincoln and My Left Foot, while Mr. Anderson has also received Academy Award nominations for his screenplays of Inherent Vice, Magnolia, and Boogie Nights, all of which he directed. Ms. Ellison has received three Academy Award nominations for her work as producer of the Best Picture nominees American Hustle, Her, and Zero Dark Thirty; she was also producer alongside Mr. Anderson and Ms. Sellar on his film The Master, which was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski commented, “Paul Thomas Anderson is a singular storyteller who has the ability to mesmerize audiences by creating complex and fascinating characters. It is our privilege to bring Daniel Day-Lewis’ reteaming with Paul to movie lovers who have long hoped for their reunion.”
Added Ms. Ellison, “Amongst their contemporaries, Paul and Daniel truly represent the highest tier of artistry in film. We are thrilled to partner with Peter and his entire team at Focus and collaborate once again with Paul on this ever original, visionary story. We cannot wait to see this lush world come to life with Daniel at the center.”
Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which packaged and arranged financing for the film, brokered the deal.
Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded by Megan Ellison that focuses on creating sophisticated, high-quality content which sets itself apart. Ms. Ellison successfully upholds the company’s vision to produce critically and commercially conscious projects which appeal to a diverse audience, allowing filmmakers and artists to create story content of all genres and mediums while preserving their authenticity. Annapurna’s most recent projects include Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog, which was just released by Amazon Studios to great reviews after premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some, released in April through Paramount Pictures to rave reviews after premiering at SXSW in Austin; Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s breakout animated film Sausage Party, written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir and released by Sony Pictures, which had the highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated animated film in history; and Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Additionally, Annapurna is currently in post-production on 20th Century Women, starring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup which will premiere at the New York Film Festival and be released later this year by A24; Annapurna is also currently in production on Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Untitled Detroit Project, starring John Boyega and is developing the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, to be directed by Richard Linklater. Annapurna’s projects since 2012 have earned thirty-one Academy Award nominations, and Ms. Ellison is one of only four honorees ever to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Those projects include Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, David O. Russell’s Joy, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, David O. Russell’s American Hustle, Spike Jonze’s Her, Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. Additionally, Annapurna is partners with Mark Boal on the company Page One, where they produced season two of the hit podcast Serial. Ms. Bigelow also directed and partnered with Annapurna on the animated short Last Days, about illegal elephant poaching and the ivory trade.
Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Kubo and the Two Strings, the new family event movie from animation studio LAIKA, directed by Travis Knight with a voice cast that includes Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Matthew McConaughey; Tom Ford’s romantic thriller Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, which world-premiered earlier this month at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival; the real-life story of heroism The Zookeeper’s Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain; Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry, starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, and Jacob Tremblay; the action spy thriller The Coldest City, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul, to star Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; J.A. Bayona’s visually spectacular drama A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson, which world-premieres this month at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival; and Jeff Nichols’ Loving, based on the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, which world-premiered at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.
Focus Features and Universal Pictures are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.