5 Apr2023


Beta Cinema announces first presales for The Offing, a project that the German sales company launched at the European Film Market in February: Curzon, Cineart and Madman joined forces and acquired all rights for UK/Ireland, Benelux, and Australia/New Zealand in a multi-territory deal, fencing off severe competition. The UK-set English-language project proved to be one of the hottest titles at the EFM and further deals in major territories will be announced shortly.

Emmy Award-winner Jessica Hobbs (The Crown) will direct and Helena Bonham Carter, who is also executive producing, will star in the lead role. The Offing is based on a bestselling novel by Benjamin Myers and is set in North-East England, shortly after the war. The story 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 Piper, a hard drinking, foul-mouthed, bohemian recluse several times his age. Under her eccentric tutelage, his life opens to food, girls, and the transformative beauty of poetry as Dulcie recognizes 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 screenplay by Amy Roberts (The Winter King, Call the Midwife) is based on the acclaimed, bestselling novel by Walter Scott Prize-winner Benjamin Myers (The Gallows Pole). Published by Bloomsbury in August 2020, The Offing became one of the most successful novels that year and amongst other awards, it was selected An Observer Pick for 2019, A Times Book of the Year, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, A Reading Agency Book of the Year and an iBook of the Year.

The Offing will be directed by Jessica Hobbs, who currently co-directs the HBO limited series The Palace together with Stephen Frears. Jessica Hobbs has directed three seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, which has won multiple awards including Golden Globes, BAFTAS and Emmy’s, and was also Executive Producer on season 5. She won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for War (season 4 finale) and was also nominated for an Emmy in 2020 for the finale of season 3 Cri De Coeur. After working together on The Crown, The Offing will bring Jessica Hobbs back together with multi-award winning actress Helena Bonham Carter. During her career of more than 30 years in film, television and theatre, Helena Bonham Carter has been nominated for two Academy Awards for her roles in The Wings of A Dove and The King’s Speech. She is well-known to a worldwide audience for her performances as Beatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter blockbuster movies.

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. Shooting is lined up for later this year.

The deal was brokered by Thorsten Ritter and Tassilo Hallbauer of Beta Cinema and Louisa Dent, Marc Smit and Paul Wiegard on behalf of Curzon, Cineart and Madman.

Curzon, Cineart, Madman comment: "The Offing offers a fresh perspective on post-war England, refusing easy nostalgia and giving us two unique characters striving to create beauty and meaning within a society stifled by years of conflict.  Dulcie Piper is a dream role for Helena Bonham Carter, perfectly complementing her immense talent."

Beta Cinema says, “It is rewarding to see these top-notch distributors team up in order to secure this title. Curzon, Cineart and Madman are amongst the most prestigious players in the industry and yet they are sending the right signal to the market that these times are about finding synergies and join forces as much as you can in attracting audiences back into cinemas. They will be great partners in an aligned campaign across the territories.”  

Helena Bonham Carter is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant. Jessica Hobbs is represented by Casarotto Ramsay and Associates and CAA.