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LONDON, May 15, 2017 – Element Pictures and Scarlet Films announced today that principal photography on THE FAVOURITE has wrapped in London. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Film4 and Waypoint Entertainment partnered on the production of the film and it will be released worldwide by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Yorgos Lanthimos (THE LOBSTER; the upcoming THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER) based on a screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara.
THE FAVOURITE stars Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (the upcoming BATTLE OF THE SEXES; LA LA LAND), Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz (THE LOBSTER; THE CONSTANT GARDENER) and Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award® winner Olivia Colman (THE LOBSTER, The Night Manager). Additional cast includes Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), Joe Alwyn (BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK) and Nicholas Hoult (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD). Following their successful collaboration on THE LOBSTER, Ceci Dempsey of Scarlet Films and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures reunite with Lanthimos to serve as producers, along with Lanthimos and Lee Magiday. Executive producers are Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures, Ken Kao for Waypoint Entertainment, and Daniel Battsek and Rose Garnett for Film4, who developed THE FAVOURITE and collaborate with Lanthimos for the third time following THE LOBSTER and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER. The script was co-developed with the British Film Institute and the Irish Film Board.
THE FAVOURITE is a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. At the center of the story is the Queen herself (Olivia Colman), whose relationship with her confidante, adviser and clandestine lover Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) is turned upside down by the arrival of the Duchess’s younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). Soon the balance of power shifts between the women as they jockey for influence with the Queen and the court.
“It’s is very exciting to be working together again with THE LOBSTER family and to forge a new team with Film4, Fox Searchlight and Ken Kao’s Waypoint,” say Dempsey and Guiney. “Yorgos’ view of Queen Anne’s court in 18th century England will be a period film like no other.”
“Having long admired Yorgos’ work from afar, it is a privilege to collaborate with him and our partners on what we know will be an extraordinary film,” say David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Co-Heads of Production.
“We are so excited that Yorgos is bringing to life the story of these three amazing women. Film4 is thrilled to be in on-going partnership with this world-class director, and to be reteaming with producers Scarlet and Element, plus Fox Searchlight and new partner Waypoint,” added Head of Creative Rose Garnett and Director of Film4 Daniel Battsek.
Also on the production were Director of Photography Robbie Ryan BSC ISC (I, DANIEL BLAKE; AMERICAN HONEY), BAFTA Award® and Academy Award®-winning Costume Designer Sandy Powell, OBE (CAROL; CINDERELLA), Production Designer Fiona Crombie (MACBETH; Top of the Lake) and Hair and Make-up Designer Nadia Stacey (BEAST; THE SENSE OF AN ENDING). The film is being overseen by Fox Searchlight Pictures Co-Heads of Production David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield and VP of Production Katie Goodson-Thomas and Film4’s Head of Production Tracey Josephs.
About Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and the films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21stCentury Fox.
About Element Pictures
Element Pictures is headed by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London encompassing film and television production, distribution, and exhibition. Recent productions include Lenny Abrahamson’s Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award-winning ROOM, Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE LOBSTER, winner of the Jury Prize in Cannes and Academy Award® nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Currently in post-production is Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman and Sebastián Lelio’s DISOBEDIENCE, starring Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola.
About Scarlet Films
Ceci Dempsey is the Managing Director of Scarlet Films, a film and television company based in London. Recent productions include Yorgos Lanthimos’s THE LOBSTER, which won the Jury Prize in Cannes and was nominated for an Academy Award® and a BAFTA Award®. THE FAVOURITE, which is currently in production, again with Lanthimos as director, was developed initially at Scarlet with the BFI. A number of feature and television projects will be announced shortly. Prior to becoming an independent producer, Dempsey had a number of executive positions at studios in LA and London across development and production, namely Lumiere Pictures, BSkyB, Eon Productions and CiBy 2000.
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, whether new or established. Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®- winners such as Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Lenny Abrahamson’s ROOM, Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA, Asif Kapadia’s box office record-breaking documentary AMY and Phyllida Lloyd’s THE IRON LADY.
About the BFI
With over £50 million of Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK’s largest public investor in film, and the BFI Film Fund supports first-class British filmmaking from talent and project development, through production, to audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales. Films supported by the BFI include last year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner and BAFTA Award®-winning I, DANIEL BLAKE, directed by Ken Loach and the Jury Prize award-winning and BAFTA Award®-nominated AMERICAN HONEY by filmmaker Andrea Arnold; Amma Asante’s A UNITED KINGDOM and Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE, the opening and closing galas respectively at last year’s BFI London Film Festival; James Spinney and Peter Middleton’s BAFTA Award®-nominated NOTES ON BLINDNESS; and the recently released VICEROY’S HOUSE from Gurinder Chadha, which celebrated its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.
About Waypoint Entertainment
Waypoint Entertainment is a film and television development, production, and finance company with a slate that includes: Scott Cooper’s HOSTILES starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike; Martin Zandvliet’s THE OUTSIDER starring Jared Leto; Shane Black’s detective thriller THE NICE GUYS starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling; Woody Harrelson’s LOST IN LONDON Harrelson, Owen Wilson, and Willie Nelson; and Terrence Malick’s SONG TO SONG starring Ryan Gosling Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara.
About The Irish Film Board
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. Recent successes include the Academy Award nominated films BROOKLYN, directed by John Crowley and ROOM, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and the Golden Globe-nominated SING STREET, directed by John Carney. Forthcoming projects include Nora Twoomey’s THE BREADWINNER and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER byYorgos Lanthimos. The IFB also supports and promotes the Irish screen industries at major international markets and festivals, promotes inward investment, the use of Ireland as a location for international production. The agency provides a strategic vision for industry training through Screen Training Ireland.
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