Vertical Entertainment has nabbed the North American rights to director John Hay’s To Olivia, a U.K. drama based on the true lives of renowned novelist Roald Dahl and his film star wife Patricia Neal.
Vertical plans a day-and-date release on April 15, 2022, for the drama written by David Logan and Hay and based on Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life, written by Stephen Michael Shearer. To Olivia portrays the idyllic lives of Dahl and Neal tragically turned upside down after their young daughter, Olivia, contracted the measles virus and died in the 1960s.
Her passing devastated the couple, yet their shared heartbreak and grief ultimately led Dahl to write the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kids novel. To Olivia stars Hugh Bonneville as Dahl, Keeley Hawes as Neal, Conleth Hill, Sam Heughan and Paddington star Geoffrey Palmer in his final role.
“To Olivia is a heartfelt portrayal of Roald Dahl and his family’s lives, the highs and the lows, and how Dahl grappled with an unimaginable loss and channeled it into creating stories that would uplift and brighten children’s lives for decades to come,” Tony Piantedosi, partner at Vertical Entertainment, said in a statement.
The U.K. drama is produced by Donall McCusker, Martin Metz, Adrian Politowski and Nick Quested. “I am delighted that Vertical Entertainment is releasing To Olivia. It’s been a labor of love to bring this remarkable and timely story to the screen and I look forward to seeing the response of the North American audience to this wonderfully acted and finely crafted film,” McCusker said in a statement.
Executive producers on To Olivia include Nadia Khamlichi, Nessa McGill, Norman Merry, Peter Hampden, David Kennedy, Gretchen McGowan, Hay and Hugh Williams. Tony Piantedosi negotiated the distribution deal on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, while David Kennedy of Goldcrest Features hammered out the agreement for the filmmakers.