UPDATE, 2:40 PM: The Weinstein Company just made this deal official (see the release below the original break).
PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:37 AM: Harvey Weinstein has done it again. The Weinstein Company is acquiring U.S. distribution rights for around $2 million to The Railway Man, director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama that stars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It’s the true story about a British Army officer who is tormented at a Japanese POW camp. Decades later, he discovers the Japanese interpreter responsible for the brutality is alive. He sets out to confront him and his haunting past. The deal for the film, which premiered Friday at Roy Thompson Hall, was brokered by CAA. Andy Paterson and Chris Brown produced. It’s the third buy for TWC after the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life? and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. All of them will be released in 2014.
TORONTO, CANADA (September 11, 2013) — The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced that it has acquired US rights to Jonathan Teplitzky’s THE RAILWAY MAN, starring Academy Award®-winner Colin Firth, Academy Award®-winner Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgard, Sam Reid, Tanroh Ishida and Hiroyuki Sanada. The film, with a screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, was produced by Paterson, Chris Brown and Bill Curbishley, and executive produced by Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber and Ian Hutchinson, Lionsgate UK’s Zygi Kamasa and Nick Manzi, Daria Jovicic and Anand Tucker. THE RAILWAY MAN received a prolonged standing ovation after its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival this past weekend. TWC will release the film in 2014.
Based on a remarkable autobiography, THE RAILWAY MAN tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunting past, in this powerful tale of survival, love and redemption
Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein: “With remarkable performances from Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Teplitzky has crafted a moving and compelling film based on an incredible true story of a man named Eric Lomax, who was a POW during World War II. After watching people jump to their feet applauding when the credits rolled with tears in their eyes, we knew this was a film we wanted to help take to audiences across America.”
CAA brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers and Silver Reel with TWC’s COO David Glasser and President/Managing Director of European Acquisitions Robert Walak.
The film is an Australia/UK co-production, presented by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland, Screen NSW and Lionsgate UK. International sales were handled by Lionsgate International. THE RAILWAY MAN is an Andy Paterson, Pictures In Paradise, Trinifold Production in association with Davis Films and Latitude Media.