UPDATED: 9/30 11:52PM – It’s become official. After speculation, Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom – starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike – has officially been acquired by Fox Searchlight. The announcement was confirmed on Friday morning, right on the cusp of when the feature is set to open the London Film Festival a week from now. Fox Searchlight has also established a release date; the film will open on February 17, 2017. This means the film will be not be eligible for awards consideration this year.
EARLIER: Fox Searchlight is cleaning up at film festivals this year, more recently at the Toronto International Film Festival. Their latest target — Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom. This marks Asante’s third feature after the indie smash of Belle with Gugu Mbatha-Raw in 2013. Variety reported the news today that Fox Searchlight is in final talks to buy the North American distribution rights to A United Kingdom, which had its world premiere at TIFF on Sept. 9.
The romantic drama follows the political and social repercussions after an African prince marries an English office worker. The couple’s relationship is tested once they encounter prejudice from a segregated populace on all sides. David Oyelowo (Selma) stars as the African prince and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) stars as the English office worker, and they are joined by Harry Potter‘s Tom Felton.
Fox Searchlight also bought the distribution rights to Natalie Portman’s Jackie at TIFF, as well as the newly controversial The Birth of a Nation at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Watch the trailer for A United Kingdom below.