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David Oyelowo’s ‘A United Kingdom’ Lands at Fox Searchlight

Movie is directed by Amma Asante and written by Guy Hibbert

Fox Searchlight has acquired the North American rights to “A United Kingdom” starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced Friday.

The film, which premiered at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival, was directed by Amma Asante and written by Guy Hibbert. Searchlight has scheduled a release for Feb. 17, 2017.

“A United Kingdom” is the true story about the forbidden love of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Pike), a white woman from London. Their marriage caused an international uproar because at the time, apartheid was just being introduced in South Africa.

“We welcome Amma Asante back to Searchlight with open arms and couldn’t be more delighted to be entrusted with her beautiful film. This moving love story spans continents while also being intimate and specific, anchored by the powerful performances of David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike,” said Utley and Gilula.

Oyelowo added, “Having had a phenomenal experience with Fox Searchlight on the ‘The Last King of Scotland,’ I’m elated to be back in business with them on a very different, but equally powerful African story.”

The film is produced by Richard McCallum, Oyelowo, Brunson Green, Peter Heslop, Justin Moore-Lewy and Charlie Mason.  The film was financed and produced by Pathé, BBC Films, the BFI and Ingenious Media.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache, and by Pathe UK’s Managing Director Cameron McCracken and Head of International Sales Muriel Sauzay.