Fortissimo Films announced today that it has acquired the international rights to Sunset Song, from celebrated British filmmaker Terence Davies.
Both Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, War Horse) and rising film and stage actress, Agyness Deyn have signed on to star in this highly anticipated production based on the 1932 classic novel of the same name by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. The film represents Fortissimo’s return to British films.
Davies recently enjoyed critical and commercial success with The Deep Blue Sea. Prior to that he had directed his homage to Liverpool, Of Time In The City, and The House Of Mirth.
Deyn, earlier this year received acclaim for her West End performance in The Leisure Society and Peter Mullan was most recently seen in Steven Spielberg’s box office hit War Horse.
Bob Last's Holdings Ecosse Ltd, developed the project together with Davies. SUNSET SONG is set to go into production towards the end of the year and will be produced by Sol Papadopoulos & Roy Boulter of Hurricane Films with Bob Last executive producing.
Set in the early 20th century, against the backdrop of the poverty of North-East Scotland, and the looming war, Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn), the eldest daughter of poor farmers barely making it, struggles for love amid hardship and family misfortune.
After her mother, broken by a life of poverty and repeated child-birth poisons herself and her new baby twins, the ever resilient young Chris must manage the farm.
Subsequently she is forced to deal with father who has a stroke yet is eager to have an incestuous relationship with his daughter, compelling her to use all her wits to hold the family together and not lose the farm.
Finally she finds love, only soon to see her new husband depart for the Great War. While all this goes on, she remains wedded to the farm, connected to a land about to be changed forever by the onset of technology and war.
Actress Agyness Deyn said, "When I read the script I fell completely in love with the character and the story, I'm so honoured and excited to be working with Terence, he's such an incredible director. I can't wait to get started and just hope that I can do Chris Guthrie justice!"
The deal for the film was negotiated between the Producers and Fortissimo Films’ London based VP of Acquisitions Courtney Noble who said: "Terence Davies is a true visionary and Fortissimo has admired and wanted to work with him for almost twenty years. We are delighted and honoured to be involved with him and his production partners on Sunset Song."
Executive producer Bob Last said, "After The House Of Mirth, I was determined to make another film with Terence. He is such a cinematic master, with a vision that is at one and the same time richly beautiful and austere.
"Lewis Grassic Gibbon's intimate epic seemed perfectly suited; a powerful story of love and loss set against the onset of modernisation, a theme that continues to resonate in today's rapidly changing world. The opportunity to bring Peter Mullan and Agyness Deyn together with Terence and to work with the team that produced his Of Time And The City could not be missed."
Sol Papadopoulos & Roy Boulter of Hurricane Films said "We feel Fortissimo are the perfect fit for this project and we look forward to working with their incredible team to bring Terence Davies' vision to screens around the world."