Sony Pictures Classics to Reteam With Writer-Director Mike Leigh

7:37 AM PST 03/19/2013 by Tatiana Siegel
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The specialty label has acquired all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Leigh’s film about British artist JMW Turner.

After collaborating on Another Year, Sony Pictures Classics is reteaming with writer-director Mike Leigh for his latest outing. The specialty label headed by Michael Barker and Tom Bernard has acquired all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Leigh’s new film, currently dubbed Untitled Mike Leigh 13

For more than a decade, Leigh has been planning the film, his most ambitious yet, which centers on one of England’s greatest artists, JMW Turner.

Timothy Spall (Secrets & Lies, Topsy Turvy, the Harry Potter series) stars.

The film is produced by Georgina Lowe (Another Year) and exec produced by Gail Egan (Vera Drake) and will begin production in the spring for a 2014 release.

Production partners on the film include Film4, British Film Institute, Focus Features, LipSync and Xofa Prods.

The National Gallery, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy have granted special access to some of Turner’s original works.

"Turner as a character is compelling," Leigh said. "I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived.  But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces. I also see rich tragic-comic potential in his often turbulent relationship with the English Art Establishment, especially in his later years, when his increasingly radical work was misunderstood and derided.”

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27  

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