Movies - NEON and Topic Studios Lock U.S. Rights to Pablo Larraín’s Spencer Starring Kristen Stewart

By Mulder, 26 june 2020

NEON and Topic Studios announced today that they have co-acquired U.S. rights to Pablo Larraín’s Spenser starring Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga franchise) as Princess Diana. Written by Steven Knight, the drama covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Spencer will be produced by Larraín (Jackie, Neruda), along with Fabula partner Juan de Dios Larraín, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Paul Webster. Production will commence in early 2021. Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON and Ryan Heller for Topic Studios with CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers. FilmNation Entertainment are handling international rights. The film was introduced to buyers at the Cannes virtual market. Spencer will be released by NEON, with plans to be announced at a later date.

Topic Studios, the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Media, develops, finances and produces content for all platforms including theatrical, streaming, television and podcasts. Working with creators at the forefront of culture, the studio explores a wide range of provocative and entertaining subject matter. From Academy Award® winning films (Spotlight); to documentaries (The Fight slated for release later this year with Magnolia); to television and streaming (the docu-series Love Fraud premiering on Showtime August 30 and Mucho Mucho Amor premiering on Netflix soon); and podcasts (Missing Richard Simmons, Anthem and Somebody).

Additional films from Topic Studios include Michael Angelo Covino’s The Climb, with Sony Pictures Classics and Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse, starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, with Bleecker Street. Other upcoming projects include the political drama Prisoner 760 directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley; and a film in development exploring the connection between Chinatown restaurants and the rise of punk music produced by and starring Golden Globe winner Awkwafina.

In just three years, Neon has garnered 12 Academy Award® nominations, 5 wins, including Best Picture, and has grossed over $150M at the box office. The company continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $53M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. NEON has amassed a library of over 50 films with noteworthy releases including: Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019's highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office. The company continues to be an impressive force, with recent acquisitions such as: Pig, starring Nicolas Cage; Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor; Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu; Amy Seimtz’s SXSW critical sensation She Dies Tomorrow; Francis Lee’s romantic drama Ammonitestarring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria with Tilda Swinton; and the documentary Gunda directed by Viktor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. Recent releases include: Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss; Matt Wolf’s highly acclaimed Sundance documentary Spaceship Earth across an innovative footprint of both traditional and non-traditional venues; The Painter and the Thief directed by Benjamin Ree; the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace. After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.

Un film de Pablo Larrain
Sur un scénario de Steven Knight
Produit par Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín et Paul Webster
Avec Kristen Stewart

(Source : press release)