Kate Winslet War Biopic ‘Lee’ Finally Finds a Home with Roadside Attractions and Vertical

Roadside Attractions and Vertical have acquired U.S. distribution rights to “Lee,” the war biopic starring Kate Winslet as influential WWII photographer Lee Miller.

“Lee” is the narrative feature directorial debut of cinematographer Ellen Kuras (she was previously nominated for an Oscar for co-directing “The Betrayal”), who worked with Winslet on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The film earned buzz for Winslet’s performance following its premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, sparking some hope of an Oscar or awards campaign for Winslet, but the film took some time to find a domestic distributor in a market slowed by the strikes.

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Roadside Attractions and Vertical will release “Lee” theatrically on September 20.

Lee Miller captured some of the most indelible images of war in the 20th century, including an iconic photo of Miller herself inside Hitler’s private bathtub. The film begins in the late 1930s and follows a decade inside the American war correspondent’s life, including her work with British Vogue and during World War II and beign among the first to capture images inside the Dachau concentration camp.

The “Lee” cast includes Josh O’Connor, Andrea Riseborough, Andy Samberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and Mario Cotillard. Liz Hannah wrote the screenplay with Marion Hume and John Collee. Winslet served as a producer and believed so strongly in the project that she paid production salaries out of her own pocket for two weeks. Kate Solomon, Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Marie Savare, and Lauren Hantz also produced.

“We are both thrilled to be partnering with Roadside Attractions and Vertical to release Lee,” producers Solomon and Winslet said in a statement. “They feel as passionately as we do about a film that reveals an untold story, bringing Lee Miller’s legacy to audiences around the world.”

“Lee Miller’s searing photography remains a living testimony to Hitler’s reign of destruction and terror, and the film reveals the extraordinary lengths Miller went through to capture both the most poignant and most devastating moments,” Roadside Attractions co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff said.  “Kate Winslet’s passion for playing this character comes through in every frame, and we are proud to bring ‘Lee’ to theaters.”

Vertical and Roadside previously partnered on acquisitions of “Emily the Criminal,” “Benediction,” and “The Pod Generation” and are next collaborating on “Asphalt City” with Sean Penn and Tye Sheridan and “Firebrand” with Jude Law and Alicia Vikander, which is opening later this year.

The deal was negotiated by co-president Howard Cohen, Roadside Attractions, Vertical principal Peter Jarowey, senior VP acquisitions Tony Piantedosi, and CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group.

International distribution includes  Sky (UK), Elevation Pictures (Canada), Studiocanal (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific, Germany, Austria), SND (France), Vertice 360 (Italy, Spain, Latin America), Empire (South Africa), Ascot Elite (Switzerland), The Searchers (Benelux), Scanbox (Scandinavia), The Film Group (Greece, Cyprus), Nos Lusomundi (Portugal), Forum Film (Israel), Front Row (Middle East), Acme (Baltic States), Vertical/Monolith/Blitz (Eastern Europe).

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