Timothy Spall is attached to star in the next film from Mike Leigh. Focus Features International will begin worldwide sales in Cannes in May, on the film about British landscape watercolorist J.M.W. Turner. Turner was a pioneering and controversial figure in his day, but is now considered one of the most celebrated artists in British history. FFI, which worked with Leigh on Another Year, will co-finance with BFI and Film4. Leigh said, “Turner as a character is compelling. I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces.” Georgina Lowe is producing through Thin Man Films with Xofa Productions. Gail Egan, Tessa Ross and Norman Merry are exec producing. Co-producers are Michel Saint Jean of Diaphana Films and Malte Grunert of Amusement Park Films.

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