Annette Bening Family Drama ‘Hope Gap’ Goes to Roadside Attractions and Screen Media

William Nicholson directs the film based on his own play “The Retreat From Moscow”

Hope Gap Annette Bening Bill Nighy
Roadside Attractions/Screen Media

Roadside Attractions and Screen Media have acquired North American rights to “Hope Gap,” a family drama from Oscar nominee William Nicholson starring Annette Bening, Roadside co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff and Screen Media’s Seth Needle jointly announced Thursday.

Roadside and Screen Media acquired the rights from Protagonist and CAA Media Finance. The distributors will release “Hope Gap” in 2020, and levelFILM will distribute in Canada.

Bening stars in “Hope Gap” alongside Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor in an adaptation of Nicholson’s play “The Retreat From Moscow.” “Hope Gap” is the story of a woman who learns her husband is leaving her for another woman after 29 years of marriage. It charts the emotional fallout experienced by their grown son and how the woman regains her footing and discovers a new voice.

“Hope Gap” is Nicholson’s second film as a director after 1997’s “Firelight,” starring Sophie Marceau and Stephen Dillane. He earned Oscar nominations for his screenplays for  “Gladiator” and “Shadowlands.”

“This really is a very personal story. It’s loosely inspired by what happened to me and my parents and is about the disintegration of their marriage, and a son trying to save the situation,” Nicholson said in a statement. “I am thrilled that our film has been picked up by Roadside Attractions and Screen Media and look forward to working with them in the months ahead.”

“‘Hope Gap’ is [an] extraordinarily powerful, emotional and loving film and we believe it will hit home for a great many moviegoers who have lived through this experience in their own personal way. The movie is driven by outstanding performances delivered by all three of the leading actors: Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor. Each give such layered, nuanced and brilliant performances. We are enormously proud to add William Nicholson’s ‘Hope Gap’ to our 2019 slate,” Cohen and d’Arbeloff said in a statement.

“William has expertly crafted a really personal and contemplative story, which allows for tour-de-force performances from his top-notch cast. ‘Hope Gap’ has really stayed with us since we saw it, and we know it’ll do the same for our audiences. We couldn’t be more excited to work with William and our great partners at Roadside to bring it out soon enough,” Needles said in a statement.

David M Thompson of Origin Pictures produced the film with Sarada McDermott. Executive producers include Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Nicolas D. Sampson and Arno Hazebroek for Sampsonic Media, Gavin Poolman, Alex Tate and Peter Gould for CMI, and Norman Merry and Peter Hampden for LipSync. The film was financed by Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic Media, Creative Media, and LipSync.

The deal for “Hope Gap” was negotiated by Howard Cohen on behalf of Roadside Attractions and Seth Needle on behalf of Screen Media.