Transmission Films will release the next films from Mike Leigh and Tom Harper in Australia and New Zealand as part of a new, exclusive theatrical distribution deal with Amazon Studios.

Leigh’s Peterloo recreates the infamous English massacre that took place on August 16,1819 when 60,000 people from Manchester turned out for a protest at parliament, seeking to reform voting rights.

The peaceful protest turned deadly as 15 people were killed and approximately 700 were injured by an armed militia.

The film stars Rory Kinnear as orator Henry Hunt with David Bamber, Maxine Peake, Nico Mirallegro and Eileen Davies. Leigh has said, “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me as a native of Manchester and Salford.”

Currently in pre-production, Harper’s romantic drama The Aeronauts reunites The Theory of Everything stars Eddie Redmayne and Fecility Jones in the true story of balloon pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher who, in 1862, flew higher in an open balloon than anyone had before or has since. As they ascended to the highest points of the atmosphere they were forced into an epic fight for survival.

The script is by Jack Thorne, who wrote the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, adapted Philip Pullman’s fantasy novel trilogy His Dark Materials for BBC1 and co-wrote Stephen Chbosky’s hit Wonder. Harper’s credits include Peaky Blinders and the miniseries War & Peace.

Transmission’s output deal follows its acquisition of Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying from Amazon Studios. Due to open on April 25, the drama stars Steve Carell as former Navy medic Richard “Doc” Shepherd who, 30 years after the Vietnam war, reunites with former Marines Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a mission to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.

“This deal represents a landmark moment for Transmission,” said joint MDs Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie. “Their taste in quality, commercial cinema and respect for the theatrical window makes Amazon the perfect partner for us to build on our incredible success in 2017.

“Combined with our ongoing relationship with See-Saw and New Regency, Transmission couldn’t be better positioned to take advantage of the changing distribution landscape.”

Starting with Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel in December, Amazon has been distributing its films in the US after working with other partners. Its slate includes Lynne Ramsay’s thriller You Were Never Really Here, Luca Guadagnino’s horror remake Suspiria and Gus Van Sant’s drama Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.


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