Berlin 2013: Sony Classics Acquires Ralph Fiennes' Dickens Drama 'Invisible Woman'

Ralph Fiennes Headshot - P 2012
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Ralph Fiennes Headshot - P 2012

The British film details the love affair between Charles Dickens and a young actress.

BERLIN -- Sony Pictures Classics has fallen hard for Ralph Fiennes' Charles Dickens romantic drama The Invisible Woman, striking a deal to distribute the film in the U.S., insiders confirm to THR.

Fiennes directs and stars in the film opposite Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander. Invisible Woman revolves around the secret love affair between Dickens (Fiennes) and a young actress (Jones).

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard's SPC also acquired rights to Latin America and South Africa. The pact was made with CAA and WestEnd Films, which is shopping Invisible Woman at the European Film Market in Berlin.

The movie, now in postproduction, is based on Claire Tomalin's 1990 nonfiction book The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens.

According to Tomalin, Dickens was 45 and at the height of his popularity when he met the 18-year-old Ternan, embarking on a 13-year affair that ruined his 20-year marriage and lasted until his death. Aided by his friends, the clandestine relationship remained a secret until decades later.

Invisible Woman was produced by Headline Pictures, Magnolia Mae Films and the BBC. WestEnd co-financed the film.

The SPC pact marks the second major deal for U.S. rights to emerge out of EFM and the Berlin International Film Festival. On Thursday, The Weinstein Co. announced it had acquired rights to Wong Kar-wai's martial arts epic The Grandmaster, which opened the festival.