IFC Films has picked up the North American rights to The Lost King ahead of its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.
The film reunites the team behind 2013’s Philomena — Stephen Frears, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope — for a comedy-drama based on a true story about Philippa Langley, played by Sally Hawkins, and the historian who helped uncover the remains of King Richard III, lost for more than 500 years, beneath a carpark in the English city of Leicester.
The discovery, in 2012, was the culmination of years of obsessive research by Langley, who faced the incomprehension of friends and family and the derision of experts and academics, and whose role was largely overlooked. Coogan will play Langley’s husband and Frears will direct from a script co-written by Coogan and Pope.
Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films said in a statement about the acquisition: “We are delighted to collaborate with the exceptional creative team behind The Lost King. Stephen, Steve and Jeff and our friends at Pathe have brought the astounding story of Philippa Langley to life and Sally Hawkins has added another brilliant performance to her resume.”
The Lost King is produced by Coogan with Christine Langan and Dan Winch in a Baby Cow production for Pathé, BBC Film, Ingenious Media and Screen Scotland. Executive producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé; Rose Garnett for BBC Film; Andrea Scarso for Ingenious; and Pope and Langley.
The film was co-produced by Wendy Griffin.