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Based on the novel of the same name by Jennie Rooney and adapted for the screen by Lindsay Shapero, the film focuses on a woman, living in retirement, who is suddenly arrested by MI5 and accused of spying for Russia during World War II. Sophie Cookson plays the younger version of Dench’s character, a Cambridge physics student who goes to work in a top-secret nuclear research facility.
Red Joan, which had its world premiere Thursday at the Toronto International Film Festival, also stars Stephen Campbell Moore, Tom Hughes, Ben Miles and Tereza Srbova. It was produced by David Parfitt of Trademark Films. Ivan Mactaggart of Cambridge Picture Company and Alice Dawson served as co-producers.
In a joint statement announcing the acquisition, Jonathan Sehring and Lisa Schwartz, co-presidents of IFC Films, said, “We were struck by the deep moral dilemma presented by Red Joan, but also by the romanticism unleashed by a true tale of espionage and a strong female anti-heroine. With top performances by Judi Dench and newcomer Sophie Cookson, the film is full of a subtle complexity and slow-burn suspense that we hope will capture audiences across the country.”
The deal for the movie was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, executive vp acquisitions and production at IFC Films, with Embankment Films, which is handling worldwide sales. Lionsgate will release the pic in the U.K.
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