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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK

Tom Hardy to star in Ernest Shackleton biopic financed by StudioCanal

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- The British branch of the production outfit will partner with Heyday Movies to make the biopic about the legendary polar explorer

Tom Hardy to star in Ernest Shackleton biopic financed by StudioCanal
Actor Tom Hardy

StudioCanal is to produce a film about legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton in collaboration with David Heyman’s Heyday Films, one of the production companies involved in the Best Picture Oscar contenders Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Marriage Story. Venom star Tom Hardy has been attached to the project.

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Penned by Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy [+see also:
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scriptwriter Peter Straughan, Shackleton will further the collaboration between Heyday Movies and StudioCanal. The firms previously collaborated on Paddington [+see also:
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making of
film profile
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and have Marc Munden’s forthcoming The Secret Backyard in the pipeline, as well as an adaptation of Pippi Longstocking, the beloved character created by legendary Swedish scribe Astrid Lindgren.

StudioCanal has been attached to the project for four years and is set to finance the project entirely. The attachment of Harry Potter producer Heyman is likely to push the film towards a specific production date, expected to start after Hardy completes filming of Venom 2. Hardy will also produce the pic alongside Dean Baker through their firm Hardy Son & Baker (Taboo and Christmas Carol), which instigated the project.

Shackleton was an Irish explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, which began at the end of the 19th century and ended just after World War I. Shackleton’s most famous exploit happened during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition when attempting to cross the Antarctic at the South Pole, journeying from sea to sea. His ship, Endurance, was trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed. The crew escaped, camping on the sea ice, before launching lifeboats.

Channel 4 recently produced a two-episode feature on the life of Shackleton, starring Kenneth Branagh. It won BAFTA and Emmy awards as well as earning itself a Golden Globe nomination.

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