Earlier this year, rumors began swirling that Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis were eyeing their first collaboration since 2007’s “There Will Be Blood,” and now the project is official as Focus Features has won a tense bidding war for worldwide distribution rights. Deadline reports the company was in battle with Fox Searchlight for rights to the drama, which Anderson is looking to make on a $35 million budget. The picture, which is set in the 1950s London fashion scene, will go into production early next year. Focus is targeting a late 2017 release date.
The untitled project will bring Daniel Day-Lewis back to the big screen for the first time since “Lincoln” in 2012. He won the Best Actor Oscar for the role, his third after “My Left Foot” and “Blood.” Further plot details are being kept under wraps for now, as is the acquisition price, though Deadline says it dwarfs the $17.5 million Searchlight paid for Nate Parker’s “The Birth Of A Nation” and even the $20 million they paid for Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.”
With a late 2017 release date planned, expect Focus to have some big Oscar ambitions for the project, which his hardly a surprise given the two acclaimed talents attached. The film joins Focus’ enviable production slate, which also includes Stephen Frears’s “Victoria and Abdul,” Sofia Coppola’s “Beguiled,” and Joe Wright’s “Churchill.” They will release award contenders “Nocturnal Animals” and “Loving” this fall.