Screen News in Brief: Nicole Kidman’s Amazon deal, Sophie Hyde to direct Emma Thompson

Our fortnightly roundup of news, views and chats with fascinating people. Some very interesting deals being done. Cinemas are suffering, box office is down but we still found stacks of films to review.

Nicole Blossoms with Bovell, NBCU Matchbox and Amazon Studios

  • Amazon Studios announced this week that it’s picked up the new drama series adaptation of Andrew Bovell’s award-winning play, Things I Know To Be True. Starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman, the story is ‘about the resilience of an enduring marriage and the evolving nature of a family’s love, as Bob and Fran Price (Kidman) watch their adult children make unexpected decisions which change the course of their lives.’
  • Things I Know to be True is from Amazon Studios, NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures and Blossom Films, in association with Jan Chapman Films and will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories at a date TBC. Also to be confirmed is the location of the shoot.
  • The drama is written by Bovell, who will also serve as executive producer. Kidman will also serve as executive producer for Blossom Films, along with her Blossom co-founder, Per Saari. Amanda Higgs and Alastair McKinnon are executive producers for Matchbox Pictures. Jan Chapman is executive producer for Jan Chapman Films.
  • Blossom Films, together with Made Up Stories, is currently working on Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the Liane Moriarty novel, shot in Byron Bay.
  • Blossom Films has a first look deal with Amazon, for whom it is also developing the TV adaptations of Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things and Janice Lee’s The Expatriates, with Lulu Wang to direct.

Aurora Films and Australian authors

  • Aurora Films’ Ákos Armont and Antony Waddington are working on adapting Helen Garner’s novel The Spare Room, into a feature film. Eamon Flack, the Helpmann award-winning artistic director of Sydney’s Belvoir theatre company, will make his screen directing debut on the project, a story about a woman caring for her terminally ill (and seriously in-denial) friend. The producers are reported to be in discussions with writers and key cast and exploring UK co-production opportunities.
  • Aurora Films is also developing an adaptation of Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, a memoir of life in detention in Australia’s offshore processing system. The film is co-produced with Hoodlum Entertainment and Sweetshop & Green, and will be directed by Buoyancy’s Rodd Rathjen.

Sophie Hyde to work in the UK again

Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays, Animals) is set to direct British star Emma Thompson in a new comedy, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande about a 55-year-old widow who hires a young sex worker for a night of bliss. The project is produced by Genesius Pictures and marks the first joint project between Cornerstone Films and Genesius co-founder Debbie Gray who are partners in the Australian production and distribution company The Reset Collective, which launched in May.

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram