Weinstein Company makes $12 million deal for 'Lion' from 'The King's Speech' producers

By Daniel S Levine,

The Weinstein Company has made what will likely go down as the second-biggest deal at this year’s Cannes Film Market. TWC just spent $12 million to acquire the rights to Lion, a project that will be produced by The King’s Speech team.

Lion is based on the book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, who recounted his astonishing story to reunite with his family.

According to Deadline, which first reported on the deal, Brierly was separated from his family in India when he was just 5. He wound up in Calcutta and was adopted by an Australian couple. When he grew up, he decided to search for his family, using Google Maps and what he remembered. When he turned 26, he finally met his mother again.

According to Variety, the producers on the film will be Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder and Andrew Fraser and Shahen Mekertichian are the executive producers. It is a See-Saw Films production with Sunstar Entertainment and Aquarius Films. Canning and Sherman won Oscars for 2010’s The King’s Speech, which was distributed by TWC and won Best Picture.

Top of the Lake director garth Davis is signed to direct Lion and Luke Davies is adapting the book. Screen Australia is co-financing, so TWC’s worldwide deal only excludes Australia and New Zealand.

Here’s the Australian 60 Minutes story on Brierley’s journey:

This is the second huge deal from Cannes. Paramount spent $20 million to acquire Story of Your Life with Amy Adams.



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