BETA CINEMA LAUNCH SALES ON "THE OFFING" WITH HELENA BONHAM CARTER AND DIRECTOR JESSICA HOBBS
Beta Cinema is kicking off pre-sales at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival on the big screen adaptation of The Offing, the bestselling novel by Benjamin Myers. Emmy Award-winner Jessica Hobbs (THE CROWN) will direct and Helena Bonham Carter will star in the leading role and serve as Executive Producer on this poignant tale of an unlikely friendship.
North-East England. Post-War. The Offing opens on Robert, 16, the shy, nature-loving son of a miner who sets out to see a little more of the world before he follows his father down the pit. He gets as far as Dulcie (Bonham Carter), a hard drinking, foul-mouthed, bohemian recluse several times his age. Under her eccentric tutelage, his life opens up to food, girls, and the transformative beauty of poetry as Dulcie recognises a potential in Robert that he doesn’t yet see in himself. But while Dulcie’s cottage and garden by the sea are idyllic, this place holds a tragic secret about Dulcie’s great love. When Robert discovers the truth, his brave and tender friendship compels Dulcie to open her own heart and re-engage with the world. Their encounter is a riotous clash of experience, personality and perspective which will leave them both forever changed.
The Offing is based on the international bestseller of the same name by Walter Scott Prize-winner Benjamin Myers (THE PERFECT GOLDEN CIRCLE, THE GALLOWS POLE). The period drama was published in all major international territories and the Guardian called it: “an unexpectedly touching story of a friendship that conquers the barriers of age, class and gender.”
The Offing is produced by Charlotte Walls and Emily Barttelot at independent producer Catalyst Global Media (FINDING YOUR FEET, GHOST STORIES), who developed the film with support from Beta Cinema. Seasoned writer Amy Roberts (THE WINTER KING, CALL THE MIDWIFE, SHAMELESS) is adapting the screenplay. Shooting is lined up for later this year.
Helena Bonham Carter says: “The Offing presents the notion that being introduced to the right person can transform your life forever. Dulcie teaches Robert how to live - everyone needs a Dulcie Piper in their life! And Robert, after uncovering Dulcie's secret, leads her to peace. From the beginning I wanted Jessica Hobbs on board. She is so brilliant with character and rigorous about being authentic with following the psychological and emotional story. If we can succeed in capturing an iota of Benjamin Myers’ novel the film will be beautiful and a life enhancer. In Jessica’s hands I have little doubt we will.”
Director Jessica Hobbs says: “When I first read the book, Helena Bonham Carter was immediately vividly present as Dulcie. She is so unapologetically, joyously, who she is, as is Dulcie. What the film ultimately delivers is a deep and timely meditation on the power of friendship, of creativity, of healing in the most unexpected of ways. I am excited to have the chance to work closely with Helena again since we were last together on THE CROWN. She is a spectacular actress and a director’s dream.“
Charlotte Walls says: “Both timely and timeless The Offing is a contemporary, cinematic proposition in the hands of a formidable female team. The bittersweet humanity that runs throughout Ben’s writing, and the electrifying connection between two outsiders is a riotous, joyous call to action for us all.”
Tassilo Hallbauer, Beta Cinema’s Head of Sales & Acquisitions, says: “We immediately felt very strongly about this very modern, warm-hearted and funny take on a period drama. The characters, the language, the unapologetic nature of our heroine, make this film vastly contemporary and relevant. The Offing is incredibly charming, extremely entertaining and truly uplifting – exactly what audiences around the world want to see right now."
Helena Bonham Carter is the multi-award-winning star of blockbusters and independent films alike, including FIGHT CLUB, LES MISERABLES, SUFFRAGETTE, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THE CROWN. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards for her roles in THE WINGS OF A DOVE and THE KING’S SPEECH. In February 2023, Helena leads the cast of NOLLY, a three-part biographical series created by Russell T Davies.
Jessica Hobbs won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for THE CROWN. She has directed three seasons of the acclaimed Netflix series, working with Helena Bonham Carter on two of them. Other work includes Abi Morgan’s THE SPLIT and RIVER, psychological thriller APPLE TREE YARD, BROADCHURCH and THE SLAP. Jessica is currently in production on miniseries THE PALACE starring Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant for HBO.
Benjamin Myers was born in Durham in 1976. The Offing, was an international bestseller and selected for the Radio 2 Book Club. Other works include THE GALLOWS POLE which won the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and is being adapted for a six-part TV series co-produced by the BBC and A24, directed by Shane Meadows; BEASTINGS which was awarded the Portico Prize for Literature; and PIG IRON which won the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize. He has also published non-fiction, poetry and crime novels and his journalism has appeared in publications including The Guardian, New Statesman, Spectator, Caught by the River and many more. He lives in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.