Bleecker Street has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to “Normal People,” a romance starring Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson.
Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn (“Cherrybomb”), the film follows as an everyday couple with an extraordinary love, who must find the humor and grace to face a year of adversity.
Also Read: Liam Neeson Is Mr. Plow With a Vengeance in 'Cold Pursuit' First Trailer (Video)
“This is such a beautiful story of love and commitment as portrayed between two of the world’s most talented actors,” said Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen. “It’s magical to watch as they find strength and an ever-deepening connection.”
Shot in Northern Ireland, the film is slated to be released in 2019. Owen McCafferty wrote the screenplay for the film, which is produced by Brian J. Falconer, David Holmes and Piers Tempest. Executive producers are Natascha Wharton for the BFI, Stephen Kelliher for Bankside Films, Jo Bamford for Tempo Productions, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for
Head Gear Films/Metrol Technology and Mark Huffam.
The deal was negotiated between Kent Sanderson and Camille Bertrand on behalf of Bleecker Street with CAA Media Finance and Bankside Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
Emmy Contenders: 'Downton Abbey' Stars Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol Talk Show's Epic Run, Movie Plans (Video)
”I was very sad to finish, but I do feel it was the right time,“ Froggatt tells TheWrap of the most successful British import in Emmy history
"Also: "'DowntonPhotographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap Her co-star Joanne Froggatt, Emmy-nominated three times for playing the long-suffering lady's maid Anna, told TheWrap that it hit home for her during an awkward exchange in the changing room of a German hotel she was staying in while working on a different project: "I was doing my makeup in the mirror and this lady behind me said, 'Oh my goodness, you're in 'Downton Abbey!'" she said, laughing. "She was very naked, and very vigorously drying herself in an intimate area, and I just didn't know where to look." The two actresses have different views on the ending of the show. "People like Phyllis [Logan] and I are of an older generation," said Nicol, 62. "I try not to buy into this, but the feeling is that there is less work for [actresses] our age. So part of it is, it's a nice job, it's a wonderful cast, it's a great crew, I'm not really happy to let it go." "For me, I felt it was the right time to finish," said Froggatt, 35. "I was very sad to finish, but I do feel it was the right time, and I was keen to do other things. But I also loved every minute of doing 'Downton.' It was a bittersweet thing, and it is kind of strange now."
"Also: "'DowntonPhotographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap After six seasons of births, deaths, betrayals, scheming, upper-class intrigue, occasional love and frequent heartbreak, Fellowes said it was time to give his large cast of characters, and the fans who followed them since 2010, a measure of peace and satisfaction. "We'd made them cry enough in our time," he told TheWrap. "We'd had drama and death and sobbing. In the end, it was right to let them get on with their lives." Before writing the final episodes, Fellowes watched the end of series he loved, like "Mad Men" and "The West Wing," and realized something fundamental about saying goodbye. "With the last episode, you're not writing to attract new viewers anymore," he said. "That's a group you're always thinking about when you write the show, but not at the very end. You're writing for the people who have supported you and followed you over the years. They're the ones you want to serve, and I felt that most of them wanted happy endings. And so they got 'em." Her final day of filming, Nicol remembered, "felt like the last day at school. We were a bit giddy, a bit silly, people were running around giving each other presents. And there might have been a bit of alcohol involved." After the final scene, she said, actor Jim Carter said a few words, then spotted a pair of crew members in the corner sobbing. "A bit of weeping went on," she said. (Fellowes admitted it was similar after the final scene, a night shoot at the Ritz in London. "It was a bit boo-hoo, really," he said.)
"Also: "JohnPhotographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap Since the end of "Downton," Froggatt has starred in "Dark Angel," a British miniseries that will air on PBS next year, and then a film she can't talk about yet. Nicol is about to start on a movie and an American television series. Fellowes has just landed a Tony nomination for Broadway's "School of Rock--The Musical," and will now begin working on "The Gilded Age," an NBC series about New York City in the 1880s, when a post-Civil War influx of new money threatened the city's entrenched upper class. "I suppose it does feel like life after 'Downton' now," said Froggatt. "We had a funny time for a few months after we wrapped, when we would not normally be doing 'Downton.' So that was kind of normal. But then it becomes January, when we would normally be going back..." She paused. "Thinking back, at the end I was crying but I felt so elated. I felt such a sense of achievement, like we'd been a part of something special."
"Also: "WhyPhotographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap And as for the chances of continuing that something special on the big screen, both actresses said they expect it to happen -- as does Fellowes, who said, "I feel reasonably confident that there will be a movie." So is he thinking about a story that'll come after his series' happy ending? "Well, I obviously have given it some thought," he admitted with a grin. "But beyond that, I think we're getting into the territory of 'That's for me to know and you to find out.'" See the full interview below: See more of TheWrap Magazine's The Race Begins Emmy Issue:
Emmy Contenders Keegan-Michael Key, Rachel Bloom Talk TV Comedy and Knowing When to Quit
For TheWrap Magazine cover story, stars of ”Key & Peele“ and ”Crazy Ex-Girlfriend“ discuss comedic inspirations and why they keep breaking into song
"Also: "'Keanu'Photographed by William Callan / Styling by Jordan Grossman When you were starting to think about getting into this business, what kind of career did you want? KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY All I wanted in the whole world was to be Robert De Niro, or at least figure out what it was that made him tick. I remember when I wrote my essay for graduate school, I said, "I want to learn how to be an actor, not a movie star." And the way I always made that distinction in my mind was with the Roberts. When I saw Robert Redford, whether he's got a beard, whether he's a cowboy or a lawyer, I saw Robert Redford. When I saw Robert De Niro, he wasn't there. So when I was young, the people I looked up to that I wanted to be like were Robert De Niro and Johnny Depp, who was a much younger man at the time. He always plays different things, and that's what I always wanted in my life. I wanted to learn a sense of range. And then it shifted, and I thought, "No, I'm going to be in the theater for the rest of my life. I'm going to be poor and happy. I could be a movie star, but I don't know how to do that. So instead of being happy and rich, I'll just be happy and poor." Rachel, what did you envision? RACHEL BLOOM For me, show business was always the only option. I don't think I've ever wanted to do anything but. And I was a musical theater kid all the way. I looked up to people like Ethel Merman, Vivian Blaine. And then as I got older, and you start to become a real musical theater geek, that's when you start looking at people like Sutton Foster and Donna Lynne Champlin, who's now on my show. I listened to her on cast albums in middle school and high school. I really wanted to go the Broadway route. I liked writing, but because I wanted to be a Broadway star, there was no pressure -- I wasn't looking to be a writer, necessarily. But that's where I found my joy, especially writing sketch comedy. It wasn't the area where I'd put all this pressure on myself for so many years, so I could actually learn a new skill. Writing is really something I came to later, because it was Broadway star all the way.
"Also: "Keegan-MichaelPhotographed by William Callan / Styling by Jordan Grossman "My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" incorporates Broadway-style songs into the show -- and "Key & Peele" has used songs as well. KEY There are some times when you can go as far as you want, but you will land in the world of arch goofiness. Jordan [Peele] and I never wanted that. And the only way to get beyond arch-goofiness is song and dance. It's the old adage about musicals: I can no longer express myself this way, I have to sing. Jordan and I are both theater guys, and we were always passionate about being able to perform with every part of your being. BLOOM I also think that musical stuff sometimes gives you a pass to do darker subject matter and keep it comedic in a way that would be harder in a sketch. You can get really, really dark with it. If you were just doing a sketch, it might be too dark and go into drama. But because you're doing it musically, no matter how dark you go it's always funny. The musical form has given me a pass for subject matter that I don't know if I would have the balls to do if it wasn't in musical form.
"Also: "'Supergirl'Photographed by William Callan / Styling by Jordan Grossman You're both doing scripted series, but you come from improv comedy backgrounds. How important are improv skills to what you're doing? BLOOM To us it's really important. We do a ton of improv on set--and also the guiding principle of where I studied, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, is that the technique is the same for written comedy and improv. Find the game of the scene. What's the scene about, how do you heighten it? KEY It's finding a comedic game, and then using the techniques of improv to move the dialogue forward. Playwriting, screenwriting, teleplays -- any writing is just you improvising with yourself. BLOOM That's so true. My writing partner and I, we wrote the pilot and we continue to write scripts line by line improvising together in a room, just based on our story outline. KEY And I think it's very effective, because then the words feel right in your mouth. Because it's coming out of a true reaction. BLOOM When you're alone and in your head, you're crafting dialogue that you edit before you put it on the screen. But if you're just, like, saying shit to each other, it's like, "Oh, that's so funny what you just kind of blurted out without thinking." KEY When you're typing, the logical part of your brain gets in the way. That's why when you're watching a television program, you go, "Real people don't talk that way." Because the writer was writing logically in their mind. It makes sense, but humans are sloppy. We don't make sense when we're speaking all the time. So I think that quality's there when you're improvising. You can go back and refine it, but I think if you start with the base of improvisation, when you go back to refine it and polish it, it stays real. BLOOM How much in general are you memorizing your lines word for word? KEY First season? Everything. Because we wanted to make sure that everything was bulletproof. And then second, third, fourth, fifth season we started to open things up more. So now there's sketches that simply have a premise, and then no holds barred, whatever goes, based off the premise.
"Also: "EMMYPhotographed by William Callan / Styling by Jordan Grossman You both star in your shows, but you're also co-creators... BLOOM I'm also the gaffer. Which has been really hard in general, having to gaff oneself. It's a lot of work, but I feel like, "This is what I've wanted to do since I was born." It's not a drag, but it's all-encompassing. KEY It is. Ten-and-a-half months out of the year, from the day you start writing until the day you lock the last episode. And even then when it starts airing you have to be live tweeting and getting things out on social media. That is the job, and it really never stops. Do you ever feel that it'd be nice just to be an actor for hire? BLOOM I love acting, but this experience has spoiled me. I just love to have control over the creation, and I think I'm a writer at heart. Even if I wasn't acting in something, the idea of creating it, creating that vision and that tone, is so exciting to me. KEY I know that feeling. But I came up as an actor, and to be quite honest I'm more comfortable with it. I like writing, it's a challenge, but there's something about being able to delve deeper into the emotional life of another human being. BLOOM There's something about really immersing yourself in a dramatic role, and doing all your tactics and stuff. I do think it gives you an upper hand when you create something. And it tells me that the way I act when I do Rebecca should be the way I act when I do anything else. It comes from me, it feels like I'm saying it for the first time. I think sometimes before when I was auditioning, I often was just doing an impression of what I thought they wanted, or an impression of what I thought the role was. And no no no, you should interpret everything like you wrote it. KEY I like that, that's a good technique. I'm going to use that. I'm going to pretend I wrote it.
"Also: "WatchRachel, you went from having your show turned down by Showtime to winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy. Keegan, you ended up doing your "Anger Translator" character on stage with President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. What have been the most surreal parts of this journey for you? KEY The thing with Obama was definitely the most surreal for me. And it's not about meeting the president. People meet presidents, OK? What's happened that I cannot figure out is that a character literally came to life. For Jordan and I to create a character who serves a function, and then for that function to take place in real life--that's it, there's no other answer to that question. That's clearly the most surreal thing. Rachel, what about you? BLOOM The most surreal moment was, I won the Golden Globe and then they instantly whisk you away to do press. Andy Samberg presented the Golden Globe to me. I was walking off stage and I turned to him and said, "Hey, I was an intern when you were on 'SNL.'" He said, "Oh, cool." "Yeah, we said hi in an elevator once!" And then I walked into a room with a lot of press, and there's Al Roker. It felt like a weird dream, where I won an award, I told Andy Samberg I spoke to him in an elevator and then Al Roker shook my hand. And I was like, "You're Al Roker!" And he was like, "Yeah, I am." That whole night felt like a crazy dream. Now that "Key & Peele" is off the air, do you miss it, Keegan? KEY I don't terribly miss it. I think Jordan and I did exactly what we wanted to achieve, and we're happy to move on. And then what do we want to do next? We've got this Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder model, which is that you go off and you do your life, and then you come back and do another one when it makes sense to you. But you have to make sure it makes sense, which means you have to take care of your money. I want to make sure that it makes S-E-N-S-E, not C-E-N-T-S, you know what I mean? So that we're doing it for the right reasons. But I don't particularly miss it. [To Bloom] I know that you're in the opposite spot, because you're in the weeds. BLOOMÂ But you're talking about making what you want to make. With our show, we are doing specifically what we want to do, and I do not feel that this is a show that lasts eight years. When we originally pitched the show, we pitched it as a 50-hour movie, kind of. It's very serialized, it's not meant to be a sitcom that spits out copies of itself. I want to see this vision through and then see what's next. What you're talking about -- you said exactly what you wanted to say and did exactly what felt right -- that's where I am. We just vaguely broke out the overall arc of Season 2 yesterday, and doing that, I now actually have a sense of what Season 3 is. And this is a show that is very specific. It's meant to say specific things, and I'm going to put all my effort into saying those things as clearly as I can. KEY I completely and utterly recommend doing that. Go British: four seasons, five seasons, out. BLOOM I completely agree. I think that's the way to go. KEY Make a big fat piece of art, and then get out. View my Flipboard Magazine. Watch the interview below: See more of TheWrap Magazine's Emmy Issue The Race Begins:
Keegan-Michael Key & Rachel Bloom Exclusive EmmyWrap Portraits (Photos)
The star of ”Key and Peele“ and ”Crazy Ex-Girlfriend“ stop by TheWrap for an interview and photo session
Keegan-Michael Key ("Key & Peele") and Rachel Bloom ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend")
Photographed by William Callan for TheWrap