Olivia Colman Signs First-Look Deal With Searchlight Pictures

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Searchlight Pictures has signed a first-look deal with Olivia Colman and Ed Sinclair’s South of the River Pictures. Under the new pact, the specialty studio, which has worked with Colman on “The Favourite” and “Empire of Light,” will develop and produce feature-length motion pictures with the production company.

South of the River Pictures was founded by Colman, Sinclair and their long-time partner in crime, Tom Carver, to develop and produce original scripted comedies and dramas with “an authored sensibility.” Colman and Sinclair have been married since 2001.

South of the River Pictures has a slate of projects that include feature films and TV series. Its first production was Sinclair’s multi-Bafta-winning TV series “Landscapers,” which was produced with Sister for Sky Atlantic and HBO, and starred Olivia Colman and David Thewlis as a murderous couple. It was nominated for best miniseries at the 2022 BAFTA TV Awards. “Wicked Little Letters,” the company’s first feature film, was produced with StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures. The black comedy about the disruption an anonymous author of crude insulting letters causes in a seaside town stars Colman and Jessie Buckley. It was released in the U.K. on Feb. 23, 2024. Colman won an Oscar for “The Favourite” and was also nominated for her work in “The Father” and “The Lost Daughter.” She recently appeared in “Wonka” and will soon be seen in “Paddington in Peru.”

“Olivia and Ed have been longtime friends of Searchlight, and we have always aspired to continue partnering with them,” said Matthew Greenfield, president of Searchlight Pictures. “This first look deal is only an obvious and affirmed manifestation of our enduring collaborations.”

Colman and Sinclair added, “After a long affair we’re delighted to be putting a ring on it with Searchlight, and are excited about the increased focus and resource this will allow us to bring to our evolving film slate”.

The first look deal was negotiated by Ben Wilkinson, vice president of business affairs for Searchlight Pictures, with Carver representing South of the River Pictures.

Searchlight Pictures has produced “ Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman,” “The Shape of Water,” ”Brooklyn,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Nomadland.” Upcoming releases include “A Real Pain,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin; Ned Benson’s “The Greatest Hits” starring Lucy Boynton, Justin H. Min, and Austin Crute; Marielle Heller’s “Nightbitch” starring Amy Adams; and Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness” starring Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe. 

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