Academy Award nominee Bill Nighy and rising teen actor Roman Griffin Davis are set to co-star in road movie 500 Miles from BAFTA Award-winning director Morgan Matthews.
Beta Cinema has acquired international sales rights to the drama – produced by Origin Pictures, Port Pictures and Minnow Films – and will launch sales at the EFM.
More from Deadline
Nighy will co-star as the grandfather of a young runaway played by Davis, who made history in 2019 as the youngest ever Golden Globe nominee for his performance in Taika Waititi’s World War II satire Jojo Rabbit. Recent credits for Nighy include Living, for which he was Oscar nominated in the lead actor category last year.
Road movie 500 Miles follows a broken family forced to come together when sixteen-year-old Finn (Davis) and his live-wire younger brother Charlie run away from trouble at home in England to reach their estranged grandfather (Nighy) on Ireland’s stunning and wild west coast.
Morgan Matthews’ previous credits include teenage maths prodigy drama X+Y, starring Asa Butterfield and Sally Hawkins, and sports documentary Williams, about Formula 1 team founder Frank Williams.
He will direct 500 Miles from a script by award-winning writer Malcolm Campbell (What Richard Did, Herself, Ackley Bridge), based on the 2018 novel Charlie and Me by Mark Lowery.
Former Head of BBC Film David Thompson (Billy Elliot, Notes on a Scandal, Woman in Gold, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) is producing with Alex Gordon and Keren Misgav Ristvedt for Origin Pictures (Hope Gap, Sense of an Ending, A Brilliant Young Mind), Martina Niland (Once, Sing Street) from Dublin based Port Pictures, and Minnow Films. The project is being prepped to shoot in Kerry, Ireland later in 2024.
Casting was by award-winning casting director Louise Kiely (Banshees of Inisherin, Normal People, The Green Knight).
“We are delighted to launch 500 Miles at EFM. The script takes us on an emotional, often hilariously funny, yet deeply moving journey through some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and Ireland. In Jojo Rabbit, Roman Griffin Davis demonstrated his brilliant talent for portraying deep character roles with a unique sense of humor,” said Tassilo Hallbauer, Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Beta Cinema.
“With Bill Nighy’s involvement, following his pivotal, Oscar-nominated performance in Living, Origin Pictures are assembling a dream cast. 500 Miles offers top-tier escapism and will resonate with international audiences of all ages.”
David Thompson of Origin Pictures added, ”We are delighted to be launching this wonderful project with such a brilliant cast and director. 500 Miles is both hilarious and heart wrenching and ultimately rather life affirming. It has such an original take on the world and will be a truly unforgettable film.”
Best of Deadline