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Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

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Production begins next week on Focus and BBC's JANE EYRE

Posted March 18, 2010

Production begins next week on Focus and BBC's JANE EYRE; Ruby Films Producing; Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender star for director Cary Fukunaga

LONDON, March 18, 2010 – Production begins next week in the U.K. on Focus Features and BBC Films’ romantic drama Jane Eyre, produced by Ruby Films and based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel. Cary Fukunaga, whose debut feature was Focus’ award-winning Sin Nombre, is directing Jane Eyre, to which Focus holds worldwide rights. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) will star in the lead roles of the romantic drama. In the story, Jane Eyre (Ms. Wasikowska), flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester (Mr. Fassbender). The isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. As Jane reflects upon her past and recovers her natural curiosity, she will return to Mr. Rochester – and the terrible secret that he is hiding…

The screenplay adaptation is by Moira Buffini, who for Ruby and BBC Films adapted the upcoming Tamara Drewe. Ruby’s Alison Owen (an Academy Award nominee for Elizabeth) and Paul Trijbits (Fish Tank) are producing Jane Eyre. Christine Langan, Creative Director of BBC Films, is executive-producing for the BBC. Focus senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo is supervising the project for president of production John Lyons.

The supporting cast includes Jamie Bell (of Focus’ September release The Eagle of the Ninth), Academy Award winner Judi Dench, Holliday Grainger (of the upcoming Bel Ami), Golden Globe Award winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Tamzin Merchant (of Focus’ Pride & Prejudice), and Imogen Poots (of the May release Solitary Man). The director of photography on Jane Eyre is Adriano Goldman, reteaming with Mr. Fukunaga following their acclaimed collaboration on Sin Nombre. Will Hughes-Jones (Survivors) is the production designer; Academy Award winner Michael O’Connor (The Duchess) is the costume designer.

Mr. Schamus said, “Cary is the ideal choice to realize this unforgettable story in its traditional setting, yet with contemporary vitality and spirit. With two of today’s most promising new stars in Mia and Michael, plus an outstanding supporting cast, this will be a Jane Eyre for the ages.”
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Ms. Langan added, “We’re delighted to bring together two such fresh and impressive talents as director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini. Added to the gorgeous cast Cary has assembled, this is exactly the treatment Charlotte Brontë’s evergreen classic Jane Eyre deserves.”

Ruby Films is currently completing the aforementioned Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears. The company last produced John Alexander’s award-winning telefilm Small Island; and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven, starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt. Ms. Owen also recently executive-produced the acclaimed telefilm Temple Grandin, directed by Mick Jackson and starring Claire Danes.

BBC Films is the feature filmmaking arm of the BBC. It is firmly established at the forefront of British independent filmmaking, and co-produces approximately eight films a year. Working in partnership with major international and U.K. distributors, BBC Films aims to make strong British films with range and ambition. Creative Director Christine Langan is responsible for the development and production slate. Jane Wright is Managing Director, responsible for running the business operations and marketing aspects of the division.

Recent successes for the department include Lone Scherfig’s Academy Award-nominated BAFTA Award-winning An Education; Armando Iannucci’s Academy Award- and BAFTA Award-nominated In the Loop; Jane Campion’s Academy Award-nominated Bright Star; and Andrea Arnold’s BAFTA Award-winning Fish Tank. Currently on release is Martin Campbell’s Edge of Darkness, starring Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone; StreetDance, Britain’s first-ever 3-D movie, hits U.K. cinemas on May 21st, 2010.

Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) is a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to Jane Eyre, current and upcoming Focus Features releases include Greenberg, from writer/director Noah Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Anton Corbijn’s suspense thriller The American, starring George Clooney; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story; Joe Wright’s adventure thriller Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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Director Joe Wright's Adventure Thriller HANNA Begins Filming Next Week

Posted March 11, 2010

Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana star in director Joe Wright's adventure thriller HANNA. Filming begins next week.

LONDON, March 11, 2010 – The adventure thriller Hanna, directed by BAFTA Award winner Joe Wright, begins filming in Europe next week. Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the movie. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (of Focus’ Atonement, also directed by Mr. Wright), Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (soon to be seen in Robin Hood), and Eric Bana (Star Trek) star in Hanna. Joining the cast is Niels Arestrup, who last month won the César Award (France’s Academy Award equivalent) for Best Supporting Actor for A Prophet [Un Prophète].

Hanna (to be played by Ms. Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a solider; these come from being raised by her father (Mr. Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Ms. Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Seth Lochhead wrote the initial screenplay and has written subsequent drafts, as have David Farr, Joe Penhall, and Mr. Wright. Academy Award nominee Leslie Holleran (Chocolat) is producing Hanna with the team of Marty Adelstein and Scott Nemes (who are in post-production on The Experiment). Barbara A. Hall, who executive-produced Focus’ Academy Award-winning Milk, encores in that capacity on Hanna. Focus senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo is supervising Hanna for president of production John Lyons. European locations for Hanna’s filming will include Finland, Bavaria, Morocco, and Berlin (the latter in part at Studio Babelsberg).

Alwin Küchler, who shot the upcoming Morning Glory, is the director of photography, and Lucie Bates (Go for Zucker!) is the costume designer. Mr. Wright is reunited on Hanna with several longtime collaborators, including film editor Paul Tothill (Focus’ Pride & Prejudice) and the thrice-Academy Award-nominated team of production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer.

Mr. Schamus said, “We’re so pleased to reunite with Saoirse and Joe for Hanna – Focus’ biggest production yet. With Saoirse taking on such a demanding role opposite Cate and Eric, this movie will be not only breathlessly exciting but also emotionally affecting.”

Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) is a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to Hanna, upcoming Focus Features releases include Greenberg, from writer/director Noah Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Anton Corbijn’s suspense thriller The American, starring George Clooney; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mark Ruffalo.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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