Mike Leigh Gets to Work on Untitled J.M.W. Turner Feature with Timothy Spall


Mike Leigh / Timothy Spall / JMW TurnerOver the weekend one of the RopeofSilicon readers asked in last week’s What I Watched column for recommendations on what Mike Leigh films he should watch next after making Vera Drake is first foray into Leigh territory. Plenty of recommendations rolled in, which I thought was great to see, and I added my two cents with Secrets & Lies and Topsy-Turvy and today it turns out Leigh is reteaming with one of his regulars who stars in both film, Timothy Spall.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired rights to Leigh’s as-yet-untitled new movie which will center on British Romantic landscape painter, water-colorist, and printmaker, Joseph Mallord William “J. M. W.” Turner with Spall playing the lead role.

Leigh was quoted saying, “Turner as a character is compelling. I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces. I also see rich tragic-comic potential in his often turbulent relationship with the English Art Establishment, especially in his later years, when his increasingly radical work was misunderstood and derided.”

Any new Mike Leigh movie, for me, is cause for celebration. Along with the two films I mentioned above, Another Year and Naked are two more I would recommend and I personally still have more from his oeuvre to explore.

This latest feature will begin production this spring for a 2014 release.

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Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

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