Ralph Fiennes joins Chris Addison’s Hallelujah!
Altitude Film Entertainment has acquired international sales rights to Hallelujah! Multi-award winning and Oscar-nominated actor Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, The English Patient, Spectre) is set to star. The project will be introduced to buyers in Cannes. The film, a Sprout Pictures and Turbine Studios Production, has been developed with BBC Films and the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery. Altitude Film Distribution will also distribute the film in the UK and Ireland. Lorton Entertainment will co-finance the film and co-distribute with Altitude in the UK and Ireland.
In the tradition of Shakespeare in Love and The King’s Speech, Hallelujah! tells the story of Messiah – one of the most famous pieces of music ever created, and its chaotic spectacular first perforce. In the riotous, vibrant cities of 18th Century Land and Dublin, the drink-sodden and cantankerous composer, George Frideric Handel, is a forgotten man to all but his faithful, whip-smart valet Peter. Worst still, Handel has lost his inspiration to compose. But when he overhears the singing of famous actress Susannah Cibber, Handel is moved to once again write some of the greatest music ever heard. King George II tasks him to create an oratorio to celebrate the new Irish Viceroy in chaotic Dublin.
Yet, when Handel approaches Susannah with the news, he is shocked to learn that not only does she have a fear of singing in public, she’s also on the run from her vengeful husband! The motley crew travel to Dublin only to realize that London’s gin-soaked alleys are no match for the competing, sectarian politics of Dublin’s choirs, the stupidity of Irish overloads, and the hypocritical morals of the day. Confronted with these odds, Handel has no choice but to defy his critics and keep going. After all, the show must go on!
Hallelujah! will be directed by Emmy award-winning director Chris Addison (Veep, The Hustle). The screenplay is by Jon Croker (The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death). Andrew Eaton (The Crown) and Gina Carter (The Crown) will be producing.
Producer Andrew Eaton says, “Hallelujah! has been a passion project for me and Gina for a few years. We are thrilled to have Ralph Fiennes and Chris Addison on board and to be partnering with our friends at Altitude on a film we all feel has enormous international and commercial potential.”
Will Clarke, Chairman and Co-CEO of Altitude Film Entertainment says, “We are incredibly proud at Altitude to be working with our good friends Andrew and Gina on Hallelujah! In developing this film they have assembled a highly talented and award-winning creative team led by Ralph, Chris and Jon making it a big draw for the international market. We’re also thrilled to further build our relationship with Lorton Entertainment, following our previous collaborations.”
Julian Bird, Founder &CEO of Lorton Entertainment says “I am thrilled to be working with Andrew, Gina & the Altitude team on Hallelujah. For Lorton, this represents a significant progression in the financing and distribution plans for the company. Hallelujah is a project we have been tracking for some time, to now have the amazing creative team attached is incredibly exciting”.
Hallelujah! will start shooting in early 2019.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)