DEADLINE | by Andreas Wiseman October 14, 2020
Focus Features has pre-bought worldwide rights excluding North America to Ralph Fiennes-Jessica Chastain starrer The Forgiven, which has finally wrapped shoot.
Joining the previously announced Fiennes, Chastain, Said Taghmaoui (La Haine) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) in the drama are Matt Smith (The Crown), Christopher Abbott (The Sinner), Ismael Kanater (Queen Of The Desert), Marie-Josée Croze (Munich), Alex Jennings (The Crown) and Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road).
John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) directs and adapted Lawrence Osborne’s novel, which explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of an Anglo-American couple, their friends and the local Moroccans, who all converge on a luxurious desert villa during a decadent weekend-long party. The Forgiven Issomour FilmsIn the first half of 2020 the picture shot on location in Morocco before being suspended close to the end of shoot due to the global outbreak. Following disruption to air travel, the producers had to charter planes at short notice to fly the cast and crew home. With financial assistance from the BFI COVID-19 Production Continuation Fund and additional finance from the producers, LipSync Productions and Focus, the shoot restarted back in Morocco last month after a six month pause and has now completed production.
Elizabeth Eves and McDonagh produced through their House of Un-American Activities label, alongside Trevor Matthews and Nick Gordon of Brookstreet Pictures. Carter Stanton of Brookstreet Pictures and Mark Lane and James Harris of Tea Shop Productions are co-producers. Kate Glover was line producer.
Brookstreet Pictures is financing the film alongside LipSync Productions, Film4, Head Gear, Metrol Technology, and Assemble Media. Executive producers are Norman Merry for LipSync Productions, Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden for Film4, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films and Jack Heller and Scott Veltri for Assemble Media.
Universal Pictures International will distribute internationally for Focus. Film4 has UK TV rights. John Michael McDonagh commented: “It gives us great pleasure to bring Lawrence Osborne’s masterpiece to the big screen, and to launch our company, House of Un-American Activities, with a film in the grand European tradition. Our international cast and crew persevered beyond the call of duty on this one, and we firmly believe that perseverance will be appreciated by audiences worldwide. With masks or without.” Elizabeth Eves added: “Like the landscape of Morocco where we shot, the making of this film has been both spectacular and hostile. We would like to thank everyone who helped us to complete a difficult but rewarding shoot.”