Jude Law, Alicia Vikander Henry VIII Drama ‘Firebrand’ Lands at Roadside Attractions, Vertical

The period feature from director Karim Aïnouz was nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Jude Law and Alicia Vikander in "Firebrand" (Credit: Larry Horricks)

“Firebrand,” the Henry VIII drama starring Jude Law and Alicia Vikander as his last wife, Katherine Parr, has been acquired by Roadside Attractions and Vertical for U.S. distribution, the companies announced Monday.

The period feature from director Karim Aïnouz (“Invisible Life,” “Mariner of the Mountains”) is based on Elizabeth Fremantle’s 2013 historical novel “Queen’s Gambit” and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It marks the latest collaboration between Roadside Attractions and Vertical, which previously worked together on “Emily the Criminal,” “Benediction,” “The Pod Generation,” “The Desperate Hour” and “Alice.” Firebrand will debut in theaters on June 21, 2024.

“I could not be more excited to be bringing ‘Firebrand’ to the screen and telling the story of Katherine Parr — a ferociously brilliant, enlightened and emancipated woman who I am deeply inspired by — a woman who has been largely disregarded, or certainly under-represented, in English history,” Aïnouz said in a statement. “Much is known about Henry VIII’s tyrannical reign; indeed, much is known about the King himself and about those who perished at his hands, but my focus here is on a woman who not only managed to survive him, but also to thrive and succeed on her own terms.”

In statements of their own, Roadside Attractions’ copresidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff said, “Alicia Vikander creates an indelible film character in her portrayal of Katherine Parr, a woman who had to draw on every ounce of her brilliance and passion to survive her abusive husband, terrifyingly brought to life in Jude Law’s stunning performance as Henry.”

Peter Jarowey, partner at Vertical, added: “We were blown away when we saw the film in Cannes and are now thrilled to be bringing it to audiences next year. Not only is it an extraordinary story with great performances, Karim Aïnouz is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today.”

“Firebrand” centers on the legendary Queen of England, Katherine Parr, as she steels herself to survive the final months of her notoriously abusive, now-ailing husband, King Henry VIII. It features a screenplay by Henrietta Ashworth (“Killing Eve,” “The Crowded Room”) and Jessica Ashworth (“Becoming Jane,” “Killing Eve”) with additional writing by Rosanne Flynn.

Costarring in the film are Eddie Marsan (“21 Grams,” “Wrath of Man”), Sam Riley (“Control,” “Maleficent”), Simon Russell Beale (“The Death of Stalin,” “Benediction”) and Erin Doherty (“The Crown,” “Intelligent Design”).

“Firebrand” is produced by Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Gabrielle Tana (“Thirteen Lives,” “The Dig,” “Philomena,” “The Duchess”) and Carolyn Marks Blackwood (“Cottontail,” “The Dig”). Maria Logan, Anne Sheehan, Rosanne Flynn and Nicola Hart serve as executive producers.

Jarowey and SVP of acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical; Cohen, d’Arbeloff and VP of acquisitions Angel An negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. Aïnouz is represented by Lark Management and CAA.


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