Global film and television studio Miramax announced today that it has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Mr. Holmes and will partner with Roadside Attractions on domestic theatrical distribution of the film. Directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey), Mr. Holmes stars Academy Award nominees Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings franchise, X-Men franchise) and Laura Linney (Kinsey, You Can Count on Me, The Savages).
The film, based on the novel "A Slight Trick of the Mind" by Mitch Cullin and adapted for the screen by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess, Casanova, Stage Beauty), is currently in post-production.
Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., Chairman of Miramax, had this to say in his statement.
"Mr. Holmes is a smart, exciting film that has attracted the highest caliber director, cast and producers, and it is a perfect fit for Miramax. We are very pleased to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Mr. Holmes and to have the talented and insightful Roadside Attractions team as our partner for U.S. theatrical distribution."
Roadside Attractions' Co-President Eric d'Arbeloff had this to say in his statement.
"Bill Condon and Ian McKellen's collaboration on Gods and Monsters continues to inspire us, so we are very excited to join with Miramax in releasing Mr. Holmes, their fantastic take on the world's favorite master sleuth."
Producers are Anne Carey (The American, Adventureland) of Archer Gray Productions and Academy Award winners Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films (The King's Speech, Shame). Executive producers are Aviv Giladi and Len Blavatnik of AI Film (Lee Daniels' the Butler, Kill Your Friends), Christine Langan (Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena) on behalf of BBC Films, which is also co-financing the film, and Amy Nauiokas (Ten Thousand Saints, The Diary of a Teenage Girl) for Archer Gray Productions.
Anne Carey had this to say about the project in her statement.
"I am so pleased that Miramax and Roadside Attractions are coming aboard to bring Mr. Holmes out in the States. Their passion for the film is exactly what we are seeking in a U.S. partner."
AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi offered his own statement.
"We are thrilled to have been involved in making Mr. Holmes which has all the hallmarks of great British filmmaking, and with fantastic performances from Ian McKellen, Laura Linney and the rest of the cast, it will be a great draw for audiences in North America and beyond."
This story begins in 1947 when an aging Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) returns from Japan, where, in search of a plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now in his remote seaside farmhouse Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees with only the company of his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits an unsolved case which forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love - before it's too late.
Additional cast includes Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass, The Bank Job), Patrick Kennedy (War Horse, Atonement), Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, 47 Ronin), Roger Allam (Tamara Drewe, The Book Thief), Philip Davis (Vera Drake, Notes on a Scandal), Frances de la Tour (The History Boys, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Milo Parker (Ghosthunters: On Icy Trails), who plays Roger, the housekeeper's son.
Zanne Devine, Miramax's Executive Vice President, Production and Development, oversaw the acquisition on behalf of the studio with Howard Cohen and Eric d'Arbeloff from Roadside, and Graham Taylor of WME negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.
FilmNation Entertainment is the international sales agent for the film.