Berlin: Focus Nabs Jeff Nichols' 'Loving'

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Joel Edgerton

The film about a couple that was jailed for their interracial marriage stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.

The day after the premiere of his latest film Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols' next project, Loving, has been picked up by Focus for North America and several other international territories including the U.K., Germany and Latin America.‎ 

The film, based on a true story, stars Joel Edgerton (who also toplines Midnight Special) as Richard Loving, whose interracial marriage to Mildred (Ruth Negga) caused them to be sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958.

They were later banished from the state, but the couple took their case, Loving v. Virginia, all the way to the Supreme Court, which reaffirmed their right to marry.

The pic, inspired by Nancy Buirski’s documentary The Loving Story, also stars Nichols' longtime collaborator Michael Shannon and Nick Kroll. Loving was financed by Big Beach and developed by Raindog Films.

CAA repped domestic rights, and showed footage Friday to buyers at the European Film Market. Nichols is in Berlin for the world premiere of his sci-fi film Midnight Special, which is in competition and debuted to strong reviews.

Loving, now in post-production, is being produced by Ged Doherty & Colin Firth, Sarah Green, Buirski and Marc Turtletaub & Peter Saraf. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones is executive producing.

This is Focus' first big buy after the Feb. 4 reshuffle that saw Peter Schlessel ousted. The company is undergoing another course correction and will once again concentrate on the sort of specialty films that were its hallmark when it was run by its previous chief James Schamus.

Now merged with Universal Pictures International Productions, Focus will approach the specialty arena on a global basis.

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