IFC Films is acquiring North American rights to “The Lost King,” the next film from director Stephen Frears that stars Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan, ahead of the movie’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
“The Lost King” is a reunion of the creative team behind the acclaimed 2013 film “Philomena,” with Frears returning to direct from a script by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope. In “The Lost King,” they tell the true story of Philippa Langley, an amateur historian who helped lead the discovery of King Richard III’s remains in 2012 after the monarch had been lost for 500 years.
TIFF, which runs between Sept. 8-18, will screen “The Lost King” in its World Premiere as part of a special presentation. IFC Films has yet to set a release date for the film.
Langley (Hawkins) spent years researching and searching for the remains, in spite of skepticism from friends, family and academics. The film is the life-affirming true story of a woman who refused to be ignored and who took on the country’s most eminent historians, forcing them to think again about one of the most controversial kings in England’s history. Coogan in the film plays Langley’s husband John.
Coogan is also a producer on “The Lost King” alongside Christine Langan (“The Queen”) and Dan Winch (“A Very English Scandal”) and is a Baby Cow production for Pathé, BBC Film, Ingenious Media and Screen Scotland. The film’s executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé; Rose Garnett for BBC Film; Andrea Scarso for Ingenious; Jeff Pope and Philippa Langley. The film was co-produced by Wendy Griffin.
“I’m delighted that ‘The Lost King’ has found a home in North America with IFC Films. It was hugely enjoyable to work again with Steve and Jeff and we were blessed with an incredible performance from Sally. Toronto is always special and now we have IFC at our side,” Frears said in a statement.
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films said, “We are delighted to collaborate with the exceptional creative team behind ‘The Lost King.’ Stephen, Steve and Jeff and our friends at Pathe have brought the astounding story of Philippa Langley to life and Sally Hawkins has added another brilliant performance to her resume. We can’t wait to have the world premiere with our amazing friends at Toronto this year in person, on a big screen.”
“Philomena” from 2013 was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress Judi Dench, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay for both Coogan and Pope. The film ultimately grossed over $100 million worldwide and told the story of a journalist who aided a woman in the search for her son after decades earlier she became pregnant, was forced to live in a convent and became separated from her child.
The deal for “The Lost King” was negotiated by IFC Films’ head of acquisitions and production Scott Shooman with Cameron McCracken, managing director, Pathe UK on behalf of the filmmakers.