Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has secured US, Latin America, and Scandinavia distribution rights to The Duke in a deal with Pathé International.
The comedy-drama, starring Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, received its world premiere earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival, where it played out of Competition.
Directed by Roger Michell and based on a true story, Broadbent stars as the Newcastle taxi driver who, in 1961, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from London’s National Gallery, announcing he would return it if the UK government invested more in elderly care. Mirren plays his wife.
Pathé will release the film in the UK, France, and Switzerland. Previously announced sales include Australia (Transmission), Benelux (Paradiso), Canada, Germany, and Spain (eOne), China (Huanxi), Czech Republic (AQS), former Yugoslavia (MCF), Israel (Forum), Italy (BIM), Japan (Phantom), Middle East (Front Row), and Poland (Monolith).
Written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, the film is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Nicky Bentham is the producer and executive producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Peter Scarf, and Christopher Bunton.
A year after screening Blackbird at Toronto, The Duke marked seasoned UK film and stage director Michell’s first time presenting a film at Venice since 2004’s Enduring Love.