“Love Actually” alum Billy Nighy looks to be the quintessential English gentleman in the first image released from upcoming feel-good feature “Living,” in which the actor plays a 1950s civil servant struggling with a life-threatening diagnosis.
The bowler hat and sharp pinstripe suit come courtesy of Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, who has also signed up to the project.
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Nighy, a BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, will be joined on screen by SAG Award and Tony winner Alex Sharp (“The Trial of the Chicago Seven”), who plays an optimistic new colleague, and BIFA nominee Tom Burke (“Mank”) playing an enigmatic stranger who takes it upon himself to show Nighy the coastal nightlife.
Aimee Lou Wood, who last month won a BAFTA for best female comedy performance for her turn in “Sex Education,” stars as a young co-worker who intrigues Nighy with her vitality.
The screenplay has been adapted by Nobel Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro (“Remains of the Day”) from a 1952 Japanese film “Ikiru”.
Principal photography on “Living,” which is directed by Oliver Hermanus and produced by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen of Number 9 Films banner, has now kicked off in the U.K.. County Hall Arts, set on the banks of the River Thames, are providing the film’s main backdrop and the organization’s Ian Prior and Kenzo Okamato will also executive produce alongside Ko Kurosawa of Kurosawa Productions.
“Adding Tom and Alex to our already distinguished cast is a great bonus for us all,” said Woolley and Karlsen. “They are both amazing actors and so perfectly right for the characters of Peter and Sutherland, two very crucial roles in our story. In addition, in County Hall Arts, we have partners who are as passionate and committed to telling the story of ‘Living’ as we are as filmmakers. They are more than just financing partners, they appreciate the original spirit that sparked Kurosawa’s ‘Ikiru’ and formed the basis of Ishiguro’s brilliant adaptation.”
“County Hall Arts’ raison d’être is the support of bold artists with vision and humanity whose timeless work transcends cultural boundaries. Kazuo Ishiguro is such an artist and his reinvention of Kurosawa’s masterpiece ‘Ikiru,’ transplanted to post-war London, is such a work,” says Prior. “’Living’s’ tale of self-reflection, selflessness and hope speaks to the core values of County Hall Arts. Some 70 years on from the release of ‘Ikiru,’ we hope the immensely gifted cast and brilliant filmmaking team Number 9 Films have assembled will deliver a film which will be talked about for generations to come.”
Film4 and Ingenious helped develop the film. Financing has come from Film4, County Hall Arts and Lipsync. Rocket Science are handling international sales, including U.K. distribution rights to Lionsgate, and Australian distribution rights to Transmission.
Toho, distributors behind the original, have bought the rights for Japan. Film4 retain U.K. free TV broadcast rights.
Sharp is represented by Julian Belfrage Associates, CAA, and Elin Flack Management. Burke is represented by B-Side Management and Management 360.
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