Newmarket Films has acqurired the U.S. rights to Jon Amiel's "Creation," the Charles Darwin biopic that opened the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, setting the film up for a theatrical release later this year. The film focuses on Darwin and his family as he is finishing the groundbreaking "On the Origin of Species." The film's screenplay was written by John Collee, an adaptation of "Annie's Box," a biography by Darwin's great-great grandson. The film's producer is Jeremy Thomas ("The Last Emperor") at Recorded Picture Company, with BBC Films and Ocean Pictures.
The "Creation" acquisition is only the latest of the acquisitions following last week's Toronto Film Festival. Magnolia acquired "I Am Love" Tuesday. Sony Pictures Classics made deals with "Get Low" and "Lebanon." "The Art of the Steal," the documentary on Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation scandal was bought by Sundance's new label, Sundance Selects. Perhaps the biggest sale was Tom Ford's adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel "A Single Man" to The Weinstein Company.
"Creation" stars real-life couple Paul Bettany and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly (who both starred in "A Beautiful Mind") as Darwin and wife. Newmarket’s Chris Ball and Robert Fyvolent negotiated the deal for Newmarket, and HanWay Films CEO Tim Haslam negotiated on behalf of the producer. Newmarket plans to release the film theatrically in December.
Newmarket's Chris Ball commented in a prepared statement, “We at Newmarket pride ourselves in getting behind important films that help open the door for discussion and conversation, as is the case with 'Creation.' While Darwin’s name has come to symbolize one side of a debate between the scientific and the theological, 'Creation' personifies the debate, with both sides contending, sometimes violently, within the man. In that sense, we believe that the film will appeal both to people of faith and people of science.”
Jamie Laurenson, Executive Producer, BBC Films added, “BBC Films are proud to have been involved in the development and co-financing of 'Creation'. We are delighted that Jon Amiel’s powerful and important film will find a US audience through such a committed distribution partner.”