Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to the next film from Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast,” which he wrote and directed and stars Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds and newcomer Jude Hill.
“Belfast” is described as a humorous and tender film about a boy’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s. It stars Dornan and Balfe as a glamorous yet working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, with Dench and Hinds playing the grandparents of the family to the young Hill.
“Belfast” is produced by Branagh, Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, and the film will open in theaters in 2021.
“Belfast is my most personal film. It’s about coming home – a dramatic journey of excitement, emotion and humour,” Branagh said in a statement. “To be embraced by filmmakers and distributors of such proven imagination and talent as Focus is fantastic. We are honoured to partner with Peter Kujawski and his amazing team. With the incredible support of Northern Ireland Screen also in the mix, we are very excited for the future of ‘Belfast’ in cinemas around the world in 2021.”
“We are excited and grateful to collaborate with such an esteemed filmmaker and storyteller as Kenneth. Highly personal and passionate, ‘Belfast’ is a heartwarming piece that is bursting with life, and we look forward to sharing it with audiences worldwide,” Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement.
Behind the camera, Branagh is re-teaming with many of his collaborators, including production designer Jim Clay, director of photography Haris Zambarloukos, hair and make-up artist Wakana Yoshihara, editor Una Ni Dhonghaile, costume designer Charlotte Walker and casting directors Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockman.
Focus Features will distribute the film in the U.S. and Universal Pictures International will distribute internationally.
Branagh’s “Death on the Nile,” his follow-up to “Murder on the Orient Express,” was meant to open in theaters this December but will now also open in 2021.
Branagh is represented by WME, Berwick & Kovacik and Gochman Law Group.