It’s been three years since Mike Leigh‘s “Mr. Turner,” and now he’s gearing up what might be the most ambitious project of his career. Titled “Peterloo,” the film sounds like a bit of a gear shift for the English filmmaker and tells the story of the infamous 1819 massacre at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, when many working people were injured or killed.
Amazon Studios is the co-financier and U.S. distributor, with additional financing coming from the U.K.’s Film4. Cinematographer Dick Pope, who shot the gorgeous and painterly “Mr. Turner,” will return to the Leigh fold. No cast names have been announced, but apparently an ensemble of “over 100 actors has been assembled.” Perhaps Leigh will work with unknowns, it’s unclear. “Peterloo” will be Leigh’s 21st film.
Meanwhile, beloved Palme d’Or-winning Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the top Cannes prize in 2014 for “Winter Sleep,” is gunning for the festival again next year. Screen Daily reports that his latest film, “The Wild Pear Tree,” is already in post-production, and will be ready for Cannes 2018. A Palme d’Or winner’s film submission is almost never rejected, so you might as well count the film as a Competition title next year. Plus Ceylan has had five of his eight features premiere on the Croisette. The new film “revolves around aspiring writer Sinan who returns to his native village and pours his heart and soul into scraping together the money he needs to get himself published. But in the backdrop his father’s debts catch up with him, putting a stop to his personal aspirations.”
Will we see both Leigh and Ceylan in the south of France next year? Fingers crossed.