The Weinstein Company has acquired from See-Saw Films and Bedlam Productions, all rights to The King’s Speech in North America, Germany, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, China, Hong Kong and Latin America. The King’s Speech will be directed by Emmy Award® winner Tom Hooper (“John Adams,” “Elizabeth I”), is written by David Seidler (“Tucker: The Man and His Dream”) and stars Colin Firth and Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Rush. The announcement was made today by David Glasser, TWC’s president of international distribution, Tom Ortenberg, TWC’s president of theatrical films.
The King’s Speech tells the story of the man who would become King George VI, the father of the current Queen, Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ‘Bertie’ VI (Firth) reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded nervous stammer and considered unfit to be King, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Rush). Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country into war.
“‘The King’s Speech’ is a powerful story about a remarkable time in history,” said Glasser. “We’re looking forward to working with See-Saw and Bedlam who are so passionate about this project and with Tom, David and Geoffrey on this exciting project.”
Principal photography will start later this year, and TWC plans for a 2010 release. The King’s Speech is being produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films, and Gareth Unwin of Bedlam Productions. Bedlam’s Simon Egan will act as co-producer on the film. The film re-teams Firth and Rush, who previously starred together in Shakespeare in Love.
“Given Harvey Weinstein’s successes such as ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and more recently with ‘The Reader’ we are excited to be collaborating with TWC on ‘The King’s Speech’” said Sherman, Canning and Unwin. “Harvey, Tom and David are incredibly enthusiastic about the material and so we look forward to working with them and The Weinstein Company team as we move the film into production later this year.”