The Weinstein Co. has acquired U.S. rights to W.E., the new feature film directed by Madonna.
Written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian, the film stars Andrea Riseborough as the American divorcee Wallis Simpson for whom King Edward VIII, played by James D’Arcy, gave up his throne. The movie juxtaposes their love story with that of a contemporary couple, with Abbie Cornish as a New York who becomes obsessed with the royal love affair.
The cast also includes Oscar Isaac, Natalie Dormer, Richard Coyle, James Fox and Laurence Fox.
“W.E. is about the nature of true love, and the sacrifices and compromises that are often made. I’ve wanted to tell this story for a very long time, and bringing it to life has been a great adventure for me,” Madonna said.
“Madonna has really come into her own as a filmmaker with W.E.,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, who announced the acquisition Monday along with TWC president of production Donna Gigliotti. “She’s taken one of the most famous romances of the 20th century and brought it to life in a smart, sexy and thoroughly modern way. It’s a terrific addition to our US release slate.”
The deal was negotiated for TWC by Weinstein, COO David Glasser and Michael Steinberg, senior vp, business affairs and acquisitions; and by CAA, on behalf of the filmmakers. IM Global is handling international rights.
Although W.E. is being billed as Madonna’s feature directorial debut, Madonna did release an 81-minute black comedy called Filth and Wisdom, which she wrote and directed, in 2008.