Number 9 Films To Produce New Feature Film SO MUCH LOVE About Soul Icon Dusty Springfield With Gemma Arterton Attached To Star
OSCAR® NOMINEE PHYLLIS NAGY TO DIRECT FROM HER ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ROCKET SCIENCE TO LAUNCH INTERNATIONAL SALES AT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Number 9 Films, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies headed by award-winning producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, announced today they will produce SO MUCH LOVE, a dynamic, original take on a vibrantly creative period in the life and career of British soul legend Dusty Springfield.
SO MUCH LOVE, set in the 1968, at the peak of Springfield’s popularity follows her journey to Memphis, Tennessee to record the career-defining record, ‘Dusty in Memphis,’ which was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. As Dusty navigates her way through the politics of both the recording studio and the city, what she sees, hears and experiences there draw her back to key moments in her life and artistic development— including her destiny altering encounter with the music of Motown, her stand against apartheid policies during her aborted South African tour, and her thorny brushes with men in the music industry who were intimidated by both her talent and her insistence on moulding perfect performances rather than settling for good ones.
Springfield’s greatest hits including “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Just a Little Lovin,” will feature in the film, revealing the story behind the music.
Oscar ® nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy (CAROL, MRS.HARRIS) wrote the original screenplay for SO MUCH LOVE and will make her feature directorial debut with the film. BAFTA-nominated actor Gemma Arterton (THEIR FINEST, THE ESCAPE) is attached to star as the iconic Springfield in the film, which will shoot in the UK and the United States in spring 2019.
SO MUCH LOVE reteams Number 9 Films with Nagy, the collaboration that produced the two critically-acclaimed and multiple Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated films, CAROL and MRS. HARRIS. Award-winning filmmaker Nagy earned Oscar ® and BAFTA nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for CAROL, the feature film directed by Todd Haynes starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. For MRS. HARRIS, she garnered Emmy® Award nominations for Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing for her work on the HBO film starring Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley, which received a total of 12 Emmy nods.
SO MUCH LOVE marks Gemma Arterton’s third collaboration with Number 9 following Lone Scherfig’s THEIR FINEST, opposite Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy and BYZANTIUM, directed by Neil Jordan starring Saoirse Ronan. Her other credits include worldwide box office hit QUANTUM OF SOLACE, TAMARA DREWE and CLASH OF THE TITANS. At present, she is filming Netflix’s MURDER MYSTERY co-starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. She was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2011. Arterton can currently be seen in cinemas in THE ESCAPE opposite Dominic Cooper.
Said Nagy, “Dusty Springfield has long been a hero of mine— an innovative, brilliant artist and a complex, contradictory woman— I can’t wait to bring her to life on screen. I am thrilled to partner with Number 9 on SO MUCH LOVE, our third film together. Elizabeth and Stephen are inspiring producers who advocate fiercely for their filmmakers’ visions. And to collaborate with an artist of Gemma’s caliber — she’s an amazing talent — is a writer/director’s dream come true.”
Arterton added, “I have been an admirer of Dusty Springfield since I was a teenager: her effortless husky voice, the way she conveyed emotion through music, how she helped bring Motown to the UK. Dusty was ahead of her time in many ways and inspired so many future artists. She was generous, witty, mercurial, shy, extrovert and a true English eccentric. I simply cannot wait to play her.”
Karlsen said, “In the tradition of WALK THE LINE and LA VIE EN ROSE, all-time great films about female singers, SO MUCH LOVE tells the as yet un-filmed story of a woman whose work redefined the cultural landscape as the greatest soul singer to come out of the UK. Stephen Woolley and I are proud to follow CAROL and COLETTE with SO MUCH LOVE, a story that places a woman at its centre and to be reuniting with two great female talents behind and in front of the camera, Phyllis Nagy and Gemma Arterton.”
With further casting underway, the film has been developed by Number 9 Films, who are working in partnership with Universal Music on the film’s soundtrack.
Rocket Science will handle international sales and launch the film to buyers at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Number 9 Films also heads to Toronto with COLETTE, starring Keira Knightley, Dominic West and Eleanor Tomlinson. Co-written and directed by Wash Westmoreland, the film will screen as a Special Presentation following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
At Toronto, Number 9’s Elizabeth Karlsen will be a governor at this year’s TIFF Filmmaker Lab alongside Cassian Elwes and directors Julie Dash and William Oldroyd.
ABOUT NUMBER 9 FILMS
Number 9 Films was co-founded in 2002 by internationally award-winning producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley and has established itself as one of the UK’s leading independent production companies. Karlsen and Woolley have produced some of the most celebrated independent films in the US and Europe including: CAROL (nominated for 6 Academy Awards®, 6 Golden Globe Awards and 9 BAFTA Awards), YOUTH (nominated for 1 Academy Award® and winner of 3 European Film Awards), THE END OF THE AFFAIR, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore (nominated for 2 Academy Awards®, 4 Golden Globe Awards, and 10 BAFTA Awards), INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt (nominated for 2 Academy Awards®, 2 Golden Globe Awards and 4 BAFTA Awards), LITTLE VOICE (winner of a Golden Globe Award, nominated for 1 Academy Award®, 6 Golden Globe Awards and 6 BAFTA Awards), MONA LISA, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Bob Hoskins and Cathy Tyson (nominated for 1 Academy Award®, winner of a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award), THE CRYING GAME (winner of an Academy Award®, a BAFTA Award, a PGA Award and nominated for 6 Academy Awards®), MADE IN DAGENHAM (nominated for 3 BAFTA Awards) and MRS HARRIS (nominated for 12 Emmy® Awards, 3 Golden Globe Awards and a PGA Award). Other work includes GREAT EXPECTATIONS, written by David Nicholls and directed by Mike Newell, and BYZANTIUM directed by Neil Jordan.
In 2005, Woolley made his directorial debut with the acclaimed sixties biopic STONED, the story of Brian Jones, who founded the Rolling Stones, which starred Leo Gregory, Paddy Considine, Tuva Novotny and Ben Whishaw.
In addition to film work, MADE IN DAGENHAM: THE MUSICAL opened in London's West End in 2014 starring Gemma Arterton.
Number 9’s most recent UK releases are THEIR FINEST, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy, and directed by Lone Scherfig and THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM, starring Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke and Douglas Booth, and directed by Juan Carlos Medina. Currently on release is an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s best-selling Booker Prize short-listed novel ON CHESIL BEACH, directed by Dominic Cooke and starring two-time Academy Award nominee, Saoirse Ronan.
Forthcoming releases include COLETTE, the story of famous French author Gabrielle Sidonie Colette who must escape her husband’s control to claim her voice as an artist. Keira Knightley stars as Colette alongside Eleanor Tomlinson, Denise Gogh and Dominic West in the film, written and directed by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice). The film received rave reviews at its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will be released this Autumn in the US and in early 2019 in the UK.