First Look Photos Released As Principal Photography Wraps On William Nicholson’s HOPE GAP Featuring Bill Nighy
Principal photography wrapped last week on family drama HOPE GAP, directed by William Nicholson, and starring Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor. Nicholson, a two time Oscar nominated British screenwriter (Gladiator, Shadowlands), OBE, FRSL, director, playwright and novelist, directs from his own script. The film shot for 5 weeks across the UK, in the eponymous Hope Gap, Seaford in Sussex and Leeds and Doncaster, in Yorkshire.
HOPE GAP is financed by Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic Media and Creative Media with LipSync on board as a production partner. It is produced by David M. Thompson (The Sense of an Ending, Woman in Gold, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and Sarada McDermott (Tolkien, Fighting with My Family, Finding Your Feet). Executive Producers include Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Nicolas D. Sampson and Arno Hazebroek for Sampsonic Media, Gavin Poolman, Alex Tate and Peter Gould for CMI, Norman Merry and Peter Hampden for LipSync. LipSync Post is also on board to complete full post production.
Grace (Annette Bening) and Edward (Bill Nighy) have been married 29 years. When their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to visit for the weekend at their seaside home, Edward informs him that he plans to leave Grace. The next day.
Just another breakup. Everyone’s been there, in person or through friends. Hope Gap tracks the unravelling of three lives, through stages of shock, disbelief and anger, to a resolution, of sorts. It’s tender, it’s funny and above all, true. There are no easy answers, no simple paths to redemption, but in the end, it is a story of survival. A story of hope.
Bening is a four-time Oscar nominee (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are All Right). She recently starred in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and 20th Century Women.
Nighy’s credits include the recent highly acclaimed BBC 1 drama Ordeal by Innocence, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Their Finest and Love Actually.
O’ Connor is best known for his portrayal of Johnny Saxby in God’s Own Country (2017), for which he won a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Actor. He was also nominated in 2018 for the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award. He will play a young Prince Charles in the upcoming series of The Crown.
Nicholson is best known as the Oscar nominated writer of Gladiator and Shadowlands. Other writing credits include Breathe, Unbroken, Everest, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Previous feature directing credits include Firelight (1997).
Nicholson says “Ever since Shadowlands I’ve been obsessed by the collision of love and pain: HOPE GAP is the most intense, most painful, and most loving story I’ve ever told. I’m so proud to have Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor to tell it for me.”
Producer David Thompson, Origin Pictures adds “Bill has written a truly moving and witty script and we could not have asked for a stronger cast. I am delighted that Annette, Bill and Josh are going to star in what is sure to be a really powerful, distinctive and captivating film. We’re very pleased to have the support of Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic, CMI and LipSync to bring this project to screen.”
The director of photography is Anna Valdez-Hanks, editor Pia di Ciaula, production designer Simon Rogers, costume designer Suzanne Cave and make-up designer Melanie Lenihan.
Leading international sales agent Protagonist Pictures will handle international sales, with CAA Media Finance co-repping North America.
Origin Pictures is an independent production company making bold and ambitious drama for both film and television. The company was launched in 2008 by David Thompson, who previously ran BBC Films for over a decade. Thompson has produced / executive produced over 100 films including Billy Elliot, Iris, Notes On A Scandal, Revolutionary Road, My Summer of Love, Eastern Promises, Red Road, Bright Star, and An Education and has been the recipient of multiple awards, including three BAFTAs, two Golden Globes, and three Emmys. For cinema, Origin has award-winning films including The First Grader starring Naomie Harris; The Awakening starring Dominic West and Rebecca Hall; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom starring Idris Elba; and Woman In Gold starring Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Bruhl. For television, productions include BAFTA-award nominated mini-series The Crimson Petal & The White for BBC2; adaptations of PD James' best-selling Death Comes to Pemberley and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White both for BBC1.
About Screen Yorkshire
Screen Yorkshire champions the film, TV, games and digital industries in Yorkshire and the Humber. Its aim is to secure and support the very best projects, companies and individuals, helping to make Yorkshire and the Humber one of the most sought-after destinations for production in the UK.
Screen Yorkshire offers production financing through its Yorkshire Content Fund. Since it launched the YCF in February 2012, Screen Yorkshire has invested in 40 film & TV projects, including: Dark River, Yardie, Ghost Stories, Journeyman, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, ’71, National Treasure, Ackley Bridge, The Great Train Robbery, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell and Hank Zipzer.
Screen Yorkshire heads up development of the Yorkshire Screen Hub, recognised in 2016 as the first awardee from the BFI Creative Cluster Challenge Fund, to develop a growth plan for the industry in the region.
About Sampsonic Media
Sampsonic Media is an eclectic multimedia production / financing company. It executive produced Vita & Virginia, starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki, and co-executive produced Unstuck In Time, a documentary on Slaughterhouse-5-author Kurt Vonnegut by director Robert B. Weide. Both projects are currently in post-production.
Other projects include Behind The Mirror, which won Best Thriller at the Manhattan Film Festival, and which was later released through The Orchard. The movie was based on an epistolary novel created by the company. In terms of music, Sampsonic Media financed the original score by composer George Kallis for the children’s fantasy-adventure Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, starring Jennifer Morrison, Stephen Dorff and John Cleese.
About Creative Media Investments
CMI is a new boutique finance fund focusing on the media sector.
We create opportunities for new ideas to become great businesses.
CMI combine talents from established businesses across the film, TV and media industry.
About LipSync Post
LipSync Post is a leading UK and internationally recognised post-house, providing post-production services to the film and television industry for over 20 years. Since 2008, LipSync Productions has invested over £65 million in over 155 feature film and TV projects. With regular festival appearances and over 200 major award wins, including multiple BAFTA-wins, this has firmly cemented their reputation as one of the UK’s most prominent production partners. Their recent film credits include Show Dogs, 6 Days, The Limehouse Golem, Churchill and The Nice Guys, The Wedding Guest, Colette and Woman Walks Ahead.
About Protagonist Pictures
Protagonist Pictures is an international finance, production and sales company which has a proven track record in outstanding films and commercial successes. Based in the UK, the company handles films from around the world, always maintaining a strong focus on filmmakers with exceptional vision and storytelling skills.
Current successes on release around the world include Cannes 2018 Best Director winner Cold War from Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski, Francis Lee’s BAFTA nominated God’s Own Country, the 2017 Directors’ Fortnight Art Cinema Award Winner The Rider from Chloé Zhao, and Toronto International Film Festival 2017 Official Selection Beast from writer/director Michael Pearce.
In post-production are Vita & Virginia starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki, The Souvenir from Executive Producer Martin Scorsese and directed by Joanna Hogg, zombie comedy Little Monsters starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad, and Juan Cabral’s Two/One starring Boyd Holbrook and Beau Bridges. In production are Corporate Animals, starring Demi Moore and Ed Helms, and My Zoe, from writer/director Julie Delpy, starring alongside Daniel Brühl and Gemma Arterton.
How to Build a Girl, based on the novel by Caitlin Moran and starring Beanie Feldstein and Alfie Allen, is in pre-production. Forthcoming productions include The Cradle, starring Jack O’Connell and Lily Collins, The Sound of Philadelphia, with Matthias Schoenaerts, Garrett Hedlund and Scoot McNairy, Paramour, directed by Alexandra-Therese Keining and starring Kristin Scott Thomas, and The Education of Fredrick Fitzell, starring Dylan O’Brien and Maika Monroe.