Newmarket Films announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to director Jon Amiel’s Creation, a film which focuses on Charles Darwin and his family as he struggles to finish his legendary book “On The Origin of Species,” which went on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology. The screenplay was written by John Collee, based on the biography “Annie’s Box” which was penned by Darwin’s great-great grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas at Recorded Picture Company (The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast), with BBC Films and Ocean Pictures.
Creation stars real-life couple Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) and Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind) as Darwin and wife. Newmarket plans to release the film in December.
In Creation, Amiel (The Singing Detective, Entrapment) and Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) bring to life a psychological love story that gives a unique and intimate perspective on Darwin, his love for his family and his deeply religious wife, and his struggle to find a balance between faith and science. The film co-stars Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon, Infamous) and Jeremy Northam (Gosford Park, Amistad).
“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,'” said Newmarket’s Chris Ball. “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.”
“The gala opening of ‘Creation’ at Toronto generated excitement amongst a large audience,” said Jeremy Thomas. “Every producer wants to share his belief in a film with a distributor, and in Newmarket I have found a group who are passionate about reaching a wide audience with ‘Creation.’ I think back to what they did with ‘The Passion of The Christ,’ a very different film but one that also challenged people’s ideas, and am happy to be working with people who can achieve this. We hope the debate doesn’t get in the way of what is a human story, with bigger issues at its core.”
Tim Haslam said: “I’m thrilled that Newmarket have recognized the broad appeal of ‘Creation,’ a beautiful and emotional film.”
Jamie Laurenson, Executive Producer, BBC Films said, “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.”