Mike Leigh’s 'Peterloo' gets sales deal, gears up for shoot

By Tom Grater | Screen

EXCLUSIVE: Cornerstone boards Amazon-backed feature.

Mike Leigh’s historical film Peterloo will begin shooting next week on location in England.

Cornerstone Films has boarded international sales on the project, which Amazon Studios is co-financing and will distribute in the US. Additional financing comes from Film4, who backed the film’s development, the BFI and posthouse-financier Lipsync.

A cast of more than 100 actors has been assembled, with the production scheduled to run until late August.

Mike Leigh’s regular collaborator Georgina Lowe (Another YearMr Turner) will produce the project, Gail Egan is executive producer.

Crew include Dick Pope (cinematography), Suzie Davies (production design), Jacqueline Durran (costumes), Christine Blundell (hair and make-up), Jon Gregory (editing) and Gary Yershon (music).

Peterloo tells the story of the infamous Peterloo massacre of 1819. The event saw British government forces charge into a crowd of 60,000 that had gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to demand political reform.

An estimated 15 protestors were killed and hundreds injured, sparking outcry but also further government crackdowns.

The film is being lined up as Mike Leigh’s biggest budget production to-date.

“The universal significance of this historic event becomes ever more relevant in our own turbulent times,” commented Leigh.