NEW YORK, NY (JUNE 2, 2020) IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring North American rights to BLITHE SPIRIT, directed by Edward Hall (Downton Abbey, Restless). Leslie Mann (This is 40, The Other Woman) joins an all-star cast which includes Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast, Legion), Isla Fisher (The Beach Bum, Confessions of a Shopaholic), Julian Rhind-Tut (Rush, Stardust), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness, Delicious), Adil Ray (Beecham Hosue), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), James Fleet (Outlander, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Judi Dench (Philomena, Skyfall). The script was written by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard, Piers Ashworth and based on the play by Noel Coward. Producing is James Spring (Fisherman’s Friends, Easy Virtue), Meg Leonard (Fisherman’s Friends, Finding Your Feet), Nick Moorcroft (Fisherman’s Friends, Finding Your Feet), Hilary Bevan Jones (Pirate Radio), Peter Snell (The Wicker Man), Toni Pinnolis alongside Adrian Politowski and Martin Metz of Align, who financed the film.
Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) suffers from terrible writer’s block and is struggling to finish his first screenplay. His picture-perfect new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focused so they can fulfill her dream of leaving London for Hollywood. Charles’ quest for inspiration leads him to invite the eccentric mystic Madame Acarti (Judi Dench) to perform a séance in his home. He gets more than he bargained for when Madame Acarti inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife: the brilliant and fiery Elvira (Leslie Mann). Ready to pick up her life right where she left off, Elvira is shocked to discover the prim and proper Ruth is now married to her husband and running her household. Charles finds himself stuck between his two wives and their increasingly over-the-top attempts to outdo one another in this lethally hilarious comedy.
Director Edward Hall said, “I am delighted that IFC will be bringing this re-imagining of ‘Blithe Spirit’ to American audiences. Elegant, escapist and anarchic, a testament to the enduring appeal of Noel Coward’s unique and clever comedy.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ EVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco and CAA Media Finance and Protagonist on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) and digital platforms.
Upcoming releases include THE TRUTH directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Shannon Murphy’s BABYTEETH. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
Align is a LA based production company launched by Adrian Politowski and Nadia Khamlichi in 2019. We focus on creating original, commercial content that covers a wide range of genres.
Backed by a 4-year greenlight fund of $200 million, the group retains the ability to fully finance features and television. Align will produce and finance five projects a year, typically in the $8M to $30M budget range.
Our current projects include BLITHE SPIRIT starring Judi Dench, Leslie Mann, Isla Fischer and Dan Stevens, LOVE & OTHER DISASTERS by Dennis Dugan starring Diane Keaton and Jeremy Irons, DIE IN A GUNFIGHT starring Alexandra Daddario and Diego Boneta.
With headquarters in LA, Align maintains an international presence with staff in London, Brussels, and Luxemburg.