LONDON – Former HanWay Films chief Thorsten Schumacher has launched film and TV outfit Rocket Science, whose first project will be to complete sales on Dominic Cooke’s film adaption of Ian McEwan’s novel “On Chesil Beach.”
The company, which will be headquartered in London and will expand to Los Angeles early next year, has financial backing from a consortium of investors from across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Set in England in 1962, “On Chesil Beach” stars Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn,” “Atonement”) and Billy Howle (“The Sense of an Ending,” “The Seagull”) in the lead roles of Florence Ponting and Edward Mayhew, and will be directed by Cooke (“The Hollow Crown”).
“From the precise depiction of two young lovers, to the touching story of how their unexpressed misunderstandings and fears shape the rest of their lives, ‘On Chesil Beach’ is a tender story that shows how the entire course of a life can be changed – by a gesture not made or a word not spoken,” according to a statement.
The project has been developed by Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley’s Number 9 Films, in conjunction with BBC Films. Lionsgate has taken U.K. rights, with the start of principal photography scheduled for this month.
Schumacher said: “’On Chesil Beach’ is a perfect first project for Rocket Science, as we aim to bring top film-making talent together to tell unforgettable stories with universal appeal. It marks the start of what we’re certain will be a great adventure for everyone involved with the company, with the promise of further ambitious projects to come.”
Schumacher spent more than 13 years at London-based sales company HanWay. His tenure was marked by a host of acclaimed titles, including “Shame,” “Quartet” and “High Rise,” and with “Brooklyn,” “Carol” and “Anomalisa” earning 15 BAFTA, 10 Oscar and five Golden Globe nominations between them during the latest awards season.