Cannes: Jim Broadbent to Star in 'The Sense of an Ending' (Exclusive)

Jim Broadbent Headshot - P 2013
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Jim Broadbent Headshot - P 2013

'The Lunchbox' helmer Ritesh Batra is directing the film, which is based on Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel.

Jim Broadbent will star in the drama The Sense of an Ending, which marks director Ritesh Batra's follow-up to the critically acclaimed romantic drama The Lunchbox.

FilmNation has acquired worldwide rights, excluding U.K. TV, to the project and will co-finance the film with BBC Films. Origin Pictures’ David Thompson (Woman in Gold, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and Ed Rubin are producing. FilmNation will introduce The Sense of an Ending to buyers at the Cannes film market, which kicks off May 13.

Based on Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sense of an Ending centers on Tony Webster, who, when presented with a mysterious legacy, finds himself contending with a past he had never thought much about. As he delves back into his personal history, he is forced to reassess his relationships with those closest to him and revise his understanding of his own nature. Playwright Nick Payne (Constellations) adapted the screenplay, marking his first feature film.

"It's been a thrill to watch Nick's first screenplay take shape and to match his brilliantly engaging adaptation of Julian's intriguing novel with such an exciting filmmaker as Ritesh," BBC Films’ Christine Langan said. "We’re over the moon to have the wonderful Jim Broadbent take center stage in this exciting contemporary story and to partner again with Glen [Basner] at FilmNation and our friends David and Ed at Origin."

Added FilmNation CEO Glen Basner: “The Lunchbox charmed and delighted worldwide audiences, and we expect the same reaction to this wonderful script, especially with the supremely talented and charismatic Mr. Broadbent in the lead."

FilmNation enters Cannes with a stacked lineup of projects, including Nocturnal Animals, Silencio and HHHH. The company is in post-production on Genius, starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, which is generating major interest from U.S. distributors, and John Carney's Sing Street. FilmNation also is in pre-production on the Denis Villeneuve-helmed Amy Adams-starrer Story of Your Life and John Lee Hancock’s The Founder with Michael Keaton. Upcoming releases include Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups.

BBC Films develops and co-produces a dozen films a year, including Thomas Vinterberg’s Far from the Madding Crowd, Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos and Simon CurtisWoman in Gold.

Broadbent, who won a supporting actor Oscar for Iris, co-starred in hot Sundance title Brooklyn, which will be released by Fox Searchlight in the U.S. Other recent credits include Paddington, Cloud Atlas and The Iron Lady. He is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.

Batra made his feature directing debut with the Mumbai-set The Lunchbox, which was released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics. The film won the Rail d’Or at Cannes' Critics' Week in 2013. He is repped by WME, Casarotto Ramsay in the U.K. and attorney Andre Des Rochers.