Bleecker Street has secured U.S. rights to “Mr. Malcolm’s List,” a Regency era romantic comedy that is set to star Freida Pinto, Constance Wu, Sope Dirisu, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Sam Heughan.
The film, an adaptation of a novel of the same name written by Suzanne Allain, will star production next spring in Ireland. A theatrical release is planned for 2022. Allain will pen the screenplay. The novel will be published globally by Berkley Press later this month, and is said to put a fresh spin on those well-worn stories of meeting cute amidst a swirl of frock coats and ball gowns. The project was presented to buyers during the recent Cannes Film Festival virtual market.
According to the log line, the film follows Julia (Wu), a society lady jilted by London’s most eligible bachelor Mr. Malcolm (Dirisu), when she fails to meet one of the items on his list of requirements for a bride. Feeling shunned and humiliated, she enlists her friend Selina (Pinto) to help her take revenge on Mr. Malcolm by tricking him into thinking he has found his perfect match. The plan appears to be working when Henry (Heughan) threatens Julia’s scheme by courting Selina for himself. Their scheme is further upended by the meddling of the bumbling Lord Cassidy (Jackson-Cohen).
Bleecker Street is the indie distributor of such films as Kitty Green’s “The Assistant,” “Military Wives” with Kristin Scott Thomas, and “Colette” with Keira Knightley.
“Mr Malcolm’s List” marks the feature directing debut of Emma Holly Jones, who previously filmed a short movie involving the same characters. Allain’s script was one of the highest-rated on The Black List, the entertainment industry website that tracks the best un-produced screenplays.
“Emma has built upon the brilliance of her short film to create a period romance for all ages,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street. “We are proud to be part of the team to bring her feature to life and look forward to releasing it in 2022.”
“Mr. Malcolm’s List” will be produced by Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister and Rebelle Media’s Laura Lewis. Holly Jones and Blinder Films’ Katie Holly are also producers, with Pinto and Wu serving as executive producers on the film.
“I’m thrilled to have the support of Bleecker Street for a movie like this, especially now,” said Holly Jones. “It all feels like a dream of mine to be making a film with such an extraordinary cast and truly collaborative partners.”
The deal was brokered between Kent Sanderson, Camille Bertrand and Avy Eschenasy of Bleecker Street, and Laura Lewis and Laura Rister on behalf of the film. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. WestEnd represents the film in international markets.