Lionsgate Picks Up Cillian Murphy-Led Adaptation ‘Small Things Like These’

Lionsgate has acquired the U.S., U.K. and Ireland distribution rights to “Small Things Like These,” the adaptation of Claire Keegan’s acclaimed novel starring “Oppenheimer” Oscar winner Cillian Murphy and Emily Watson.

The drama, directed by Murphy’s “Peaky Blinders” collaborator Tim Mielants, premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, where Watson received a Silver Bear Award for her performance. Set in Ireland during Christmas in 1985, Murphy plays a devoted father who discovers a dark secret about the corruption and exploitation being committed by his town’s local convent, whose Mother Superior is played by Watson.

Enda Walsh, who worked with Murphy on the 2014 Irish play “Ballyturk,” adapted the screenplay. The film was produced by Murphy and his producing partner Alan Moloney through their production company Big Things Films and was financed and put into production by Artists Equity, the artist-led studio founded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Lionsgate will partner with Roadside Attractions on North American distribution.

“We are incredibly proud to bring this film to audiences. Claire Keegan’s book is a captivating, heart-wrenching and empathetically told story of a character who uncovers not only a local mystery, but also discovers who he really is,” Lionsgate motion picture group chair Adam Fogelson said in a statement. “Cillian is at the peak of his powers, both as an actor and a producer, and it’s exciting to work with Matt and Ben to distribute a film they have shepherded so lovingly. It’s especially meaningful for us to be distributing in Ireland, where we are confident audiences will embrace the film.”

“Especially since ‘Small Things Like These’ marks the first project from Big Things Films, I’m particularly pleased Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will bring it to audiences in Ireland, the U.S. and U.K.,” Murphy added. “Making the film was a labor of love; I can’t wait to talk about it. We are enormously grateful to Artists Equity for their unwavering support throughout this process. From the moment we shared the script, they have been there for us and we are immensely grateful for their philosophy and partnership.”

Catherine Magee also serves as a producer along with Murphy and Moloney. For Artists Equity, Damon and Drew Vinton produce, while Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe executive produce. The film is an Irish/Belgian co-production with additional funding coming from Screen Ireland. Belgium’s Wilder Films co-produced.

“When Cillian and Alan Moloney brought this project to us, we instantly said we wanted to help bring it to life,” Damon and Affleck said in a joint statement. “We couldn’t be prouder of that decision. This is simply a wonderful film, one that we think really does justice to Claire Keegan’s astounding, poignant novella. We are elated to partner with Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions so audiences across the U.S., U.K. and particularly Ireland will be able to see it.”

Kaycee Holcomb and Elin Madadian along with Lauren Bixby negotiated the deal for Lionsgate.

The post Lionsgate Picks Up Cillian Murphy-Led Adaptation ‘Small Things Like These’ appeared first on TheWrap.