Once upon a time, “The Mercy” had the makings of an Oscar player. With a cast led by Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, tackling a true story directed by James Marsh (“The Theory Of Everything,” “Man On Wire”), the ingredients were there for something special. However, the film — which started shooting in early 2015 — has been conspicuously quiet and hasn’t appeared at any prestigious festivals. Indeed, there seems to have been some trouble in the water.
“The Mercy,” penned by Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion”), tells the true story of Donald Crowhurst, a round-the-world yachtsman who wove a tragic web of lies in his attempt to compete in the 1969 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. It’s a compelling story, but throwing a spanner in the works is a rival film — “Crowhurst” — about the same subject matter. Even more strange, StudioCanal has picked up the rights to both movies, and plans to bring them both to cinemas.
“We’ll be having a major [marketing] campaign,” Danny Perkins, the head of Studiocanal, insisted to THR in September. “Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz love it and it’s going to get a hell of a lot of support. Weirdly, after a long delay, there’s going to be loads of news very quickly on it.
Well, “The Mercy” will wash ashore first, opening in the U.K. on February 9th. Lionsgate has the U.S. rights, but no date has been set. [The Telegraph]