Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy to Star in Lone Scherfig Rom-Com

Gemma Arterton
AP Images

HanWay Films will handle international sales of 'Their Finest Hour and a Half,' co-financed by BBC Films.

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in Their Finest Hour and a Half, a new romantic comedy being directed by Lone Scherfig (The Riot Club, One Day).

It was announced Tuesday that the film also will star Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin, and it's being developed and co-financed by BBC Films, with Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films. Stephen Woolley and Amanda Posey will produce, and Christine Langan and Ed Wethered of BBC Films will executive produce.

Fresh from its $9 million Sundance sale of the Saoirse Ronan-starring romance Brooklyn to Fox Searchlight, HanWay Films has boarded international sales rights of the film.

Adapted by Gaby Chiappe from Lissa Evans' 2009 novel, Their Finest Hour and a Half is set in 1940s London during the World War II Blitz and is described as "screwball" battle of the sexes, a "witty, warm-hearted and moving portrayal of a young woman screenwriter finding her way in matters of life, death and the heart."

"Gaby Chiappe's skillful adaptation of Lissa Evans' brilliantly comic and moving wartime novel is a stunning film debut. BBC Films is delighted to be working again with Lone Scherfig who, together with her producers Amanda Posey and Steve Woolley, has delivered a truly exciting British cast," said Langan, the head of BBC Films, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Added HanWay's managing director, Thorsten Schumacher: "We look forward to working with our partners at Wildgaze and Number 9 after recent collaborations on Brooklyn and Carol. Their Finest Hour and a Half is a funny and touching romance with a great female lead role that is entertaining and emotional in equal measure."

The film is set for a late-summer shoot.