by Tatiana Siegel | The Hollywood Reporter
Participant Media developed the project with BBC Films and is co-financing as well.
Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to Mick Jackson’s Denial, which will star Rachel Weisz.
Based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier, the film also stars Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall.
Adapted for the screen by David Hare (The Reader, The Hours), the book recounts Lipstadt’s legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the British legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused; therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust happened.
The film will be directed by Jackson (Temple Grandin) and produced by Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff under Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment (The Soloist) alongside Shoebox Films. Participant Media developed the project with BBC Films and is co-financing as well.
“Mick Jackson’s film will recount this incredible, unbelievable story of two people pitted against each other in a battle over truth, history and integrity,” Bleeker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said. “With David Hare’s exhilarating script combined with Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson leading the cast, I’m so proud to be bringing this film to audiences next year.”
Added Producers Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff: “We have found the perfect partner to bring this important and exceptional story to American audiences with Andrew and Bleecker Street. It’s an awesome responsibility to join Deborah in the defense of truth and history which continues to shape our world. It could only be achieved with a top class cast and we feel fortunate to have Rachel, Tom and Tim headlining this stellar cast with their talent and passion.”
Cornerstone Films is handling international sales and distribution and presenting the film to buyers at AFM.
“Deborah Lipstadt teaches history, but her own story is about what is happening right now all around us," said Jonathan King, executive vp narrative film at Participant. "Denial shows how one person can make a difference in the world by standing up for what is right."
The deal was negotiated for Bleecker Street by Karpen and Avy Eschenasy. King and Gabe Brakin negotiated on behalf of Participant.
Weisz most recently starred in a pair of Cannes films: Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. She is repped by WME, Brillstein and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.
Wilkinson recently completed Oliver Stone's Snowden and Simon Aboud's This Beautiful Fantastic. He is handled by Lou Coulson Associates and Gotham/Principal.
Spall recently completed Nick Hamm’s The Journey and Daivid Blair’s Away. He is represented by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and managed by Berwick & Kovacik.