The Railway Man (27/04/2011)
Stellan Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada will join Oscar winners Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and the fast-rising Jeremy Irvine among the cast for Jonathan Teplitzky’s film THE RAILWAY MAN, it was announced today at Creative Scotland Offices in Edinburgh.
Photograph credited to Rob McDougall Photography - www.robmcdougall.com
Principal photography starts in Scotland on April 30. The ten-week shoot then moves to Thailand and Queensland, Australia.
Adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson from Eric Lomax’s best-selling book, THE RAILWAY MAN is the epic true story of a war hero and the woman who matched his courage to reclaim the man she loved.
Eric Lomax (Firth) was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. Years later, still haunted by memories of brutality and torture, he met a beautiful woman on a train.
Patti (Kidman) was determined to rid Eric of his demons. With the help of a wartime colleague (Skarsgård), she set up a mission back to the Bridge on the River Kwai where Eric would confront his tormentor, Nagase (Sanada).
The Railway Man is an inspiring true story of heroism and humanity.
Jonathan Teplitzky will direct. The producers are Andy Paterson (Girl With A Pearl Earring), Chris Brown (The Proposition) and Bill Curbishley (Quadrophenia, McVicar). Executive Producers are Claudia Blümhuber and Ian Hutchinson from Silver Reel, Zygi Kamasa for Lionsgate UK, Anand Tucker and Daria Jovicic.
The film is an Australia/UK co-production between Pictures in Paradise and Archer Street, backed by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland and Lionsgate UK. Lionsgate UK will release the film in the UK and Transmission will handle Australia and New Zealand.
Lionsgate International is handling international sales on the film. Sales are already in place in many territories including France (Metropolitan), Benelux (E One), Russia (West), Greece (Spentzos), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Latin America (Gussi), Scandinavia (Mislabel), and Poland (Forum). Lionsgate UK and CAA are handling US rights for the film.
Ruth Harley, CEO of Screen Australia, said: “Screen Australia is proud to be a major investor in The Railway Man. The Australian team boasts extraordinary talent with director Jonathan Teplitzky, producer Chris Brown and of course the hugely talented Nicole Kidman. We’re looking forward to the production heading to Australia for the shoot in Queensland.”
Zygi Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate UK commented: “We are incredibly excited to start production on The Railway Man, which continues our commitment to British Film. We are looking forward to working with the whole team to make a film that combines a compelling story, outstanding cast and impressive team behind the camera.”
Claudia Blümhuber and Ian Hutchinson, Partners in Silver Reel, the Entertainment Financier, stated: “We are thrilled to be a part of this great project. We believe that the incredible ensemble of talented people that have come together to adapt this touching story about revenge, love and hope for the screen will create a truly inspiring film. “
Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland commented: “Creative Scotland's investment in The Railway Man brings an inspiring story to life and showcases Scotland's assets as a filming location. The production brings with it an internationally renowned cast and will offer work for Scottish craft and technical crew, reinforcing our commitment to the local cultural economy.”
Colin Firth won the Academy Award for his performance in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, having been nominated for his work in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. His other film credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Mamma Mia! Bridget Jones’ Diary and Shakespeare in Love.
Nicole Kidman’s Academy Award was for Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, and she received nominations for her work in John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! Among her other film credits are Portrait of a Lady, To Die For and Eyes Wide Shut.
Stellan Skarsgård’s films include The Avengers, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Mamma Mia! Pirates of the Caribbean, and several films with Lars von Trier, such as Melancholia and Dogville.
One of Japan’s biggest stars, Hiroyuki Sanada will next be seen starring with Keanu Reeves as Oishi in Universal Pictures’ $200 million epic 47 Ronin, set for release on November 21st. this year. The film is based on one of the most celebrated stories in Japanese history about forty-seven disbanded samurai or ronin who take on a mythical army in order to avenge their master’s wrongful death in 18th century Japan.
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse marked Jeremy Irvine’s first leading role, and he recently completed the leading role of Pip in Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. He will next be seen opposite Dakota Fanning in Ol Parker’s Now is Good.
Paterson and Teplitzky’s previous production, Burning Man, a reckless and moving upside down love story starring Matthew Goode and Bojana Novakovic, premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Andy Paterson last worked with Colin Firth on Girl With A Pearl Earring. His previous films, including Hilary and Jackie, Restoration and Beyond The Sea have received multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominations.
Chris Brown is an award-winning producer whose credits include The Company of Wolves, Mona Lisa, Dancing Through the Dark, The Proposition and Daybreakers. Based in Australia, he owns production company Pictures in Paradise in Queensland. In 2004 Brown won Independent Producer of the Year from the Australian Producers Association. He executive produced BAIT 3D, released by Paramount Pictures earlier this year.
Silver Reel has financed and executive produced 12 motion pictures in the last 36 months, among them the long anticipated Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer starring Scarlett Johansson and the screen adaptation of The Host, the new Stephenie Meyer bestseller after the Twilight Series.
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