Sophie Hyde to direct Emma Thompson in UK sex comedy

Emma Thompson (Photo credit : Nick Haddow)

Emma Thompson will play a widow who hires a sex worker for a “night of bliss” in the UK comedy Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, directed by Sophie Hyde.

This is the first project from The Reset Collective, the Australian co-venture between Cornerstone Films, distribution executive Lisa Garner and Debbie Gray of the UK-based Genesius Pictures, which launched last year.

Scripted by British comedian Katy Brand, the film will follow Thompson as Nancy Stokes, who yearns for some fresh adventure and good sex. So she hires the services of Leo Grande (casting is underway), a young sex worker, for a night of bliss.

Produced by Gray (Mrs Lowry And Son, Northern Soul), the film is due to start production in London in early 2021.

Hyde said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the tremendously funny and heartbreakingly honest Emma Thompson to explore intimacy and desire, and to put on screen a relationship that feels unexpected and delightful.

“At a time when our need for each other is so vividly present, it will be a delight to create and show this connection between two people, which is funny, sexy and moving.”

Headed by Mark Gooder and Alison Thompson, Cornerstone will handle international sales and distribution, kicking off at the virtual American Film Market, which runs from November 9-13. Cornerstone and CAA Media Finance will co-rep the US sales rights.

Hyde’s Animals, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, will be released in the US on November 10 by Freestyle Digital Media.

Gooder, who sold Animals, sent Hyde the script. “l love stories about relationships that are not conventional,” Sophie tells IF.

She nailed the gig after Zoom sessions with Gooder, Gray, Brand and Thompson, whom, she says, has “amazing instincts and is so funny.”

The director and DOP Bryan Mason are applying for permission to travel to the UK in January. The plan is to shoot the two-hander in a London sound stage.

The Reset Collective reteams Garner and Mark Gooder, who worked together at Icon Film Distribution, releasing such movies as Paranormal ActivitySlumdog Millionaire, The Queen, In Bruges, The Iron Lady and 12 Years a Slave.