Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and Oscar nominee Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) have been set to lead “twisted” romance Wicker, which Black Bear will be launching for sales at next week’s AFM.
Colman will play a “smelly Fisherwoman” who sparks outrage and jealousy in her conservative town due to an unconventional romance. UTA Independent Film Group is co-repping US sales with CAA Media Finance.
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Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson (Save Yourselves!) will direct from a script they adapted based on the short story The Wicker Husband by Ursula Wills-Jones.
Topic Studios (Spencer) and Tango (Aftersun) will finance and produce, alongside Colman, Ed Sinclair and Tom Carver from South of The River, David Michôd and Brad Zimmerman for Yoki, Inc. and Justin Lothrop and Brent Stiefel for Votiv, who originated and financed development.
The project isn’t currently a SAG production and is not due to film until mid-late next year in Europe.
The official synopsis reads: “On the outskirts of a village by the sea, lives a Fisherwoman (Olivia Colman); smelly, single and perpetually ridiculed. One day, fed up with her stuffy, small-minded neighbors, she commissions herself a husband to be made from wicker (Dev Patel). In an otherwise conservative town, this unconventional romance sparks outrage, jealousy and chaos.”
Acclaimed Brit Colman will next be seen on screens in Paul King’s Wonka, Thea Sharrock’s Wicked Little Letters, the latter of which she also produced, and Dougal Wilson’s Paddington in Peru.
Patel can currently be seen in Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, as well as Poison on Netflix. He will next be seen starring in his directorial debut Monkey Man which he also co-wrote, produced.
Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson played at Sundance with previous feature Save Yourselves!
Upcoming projects from Topic Studios include David Lowery’s pop music melodrama Mother Mary starring Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel in partnership with A24. This year, Tango premiered His Three Daughters, Azazel Jacob’s film, at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, and is also in post on Spaceman starring Adam Sandler for Netflix.
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