Ben Latham-Jones has fully acquired Ealing Studios Entertainment, the production entity of the iconic London-based studio, it was announced today. Latham-Jones, a former creative director for Fox, will take over the role of head of studio from Barnaby Thompson, who will now segue into focusing on directing. Thompson will retain his shares in Ealing Studios Operations, which runs the stages and facilities side of the business, alongside partners Harry Handelsman and Uri Fruchtmann.
Latham-Jones hopes to turn Ealing into a hub of British filmmaking excellence, recalling its heyday under legendary exec Michael Balcon, who was responsible for classics including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets.
In 2012, Latham-Jones raised $50 million in financing to produce or co-produce a slate of films. He has a number of projects in the pipeline, including Encounter, written and directed by Dominic Savage (Love + Hate); Fisherman’s Friends written by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft (St. Trinians);Vacation, an indie Swedish drama written and directed by Jesper Ganslandt (The Ape) starring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) and Marwan Kenzari (Ben Hur), and the recently announced Callas, also starring Rapace.
“We’re looking forward to taking the studio to the next level with a strong slate of exciting new fully financed productions and building a creative hub here for international filmmakers and becoming the home for British talent,” said Latham-Jones.
Latham-Jones has also spearheaded Ealing’s expansion into TV, with a buzzy adaptation for ITV of two Georges Simenon novels from his beloved Maigret series, with Rowan Atkinson playing the lead role of the Parisian detective.
Latham-Jones joined Ealing as a partner in 2013; since then he has produced three movies for Ealing alongside Thompson: Nina, staring Zoe Saldana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and David Oyelowo (Selma) in a biopic about Nina Simone directed by Cynthia Mort. Entertainment One and Universal are releasing; Kids in Love, starring Will Poulter (The Revenant) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad); and D-Train starring Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda), James Marsden (X- Men) and Kathryn Hahn (TomorrowLand), financed with Sony Pictures Worldwide and released domestically by IFC.