Focus Features has picked up distribution rights for Loving, a film about the real-life marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving. The deal was negotiated by CAA on behalf of the filmmakers and includes distribution in North American and most major international territories, a rep from Focus Features confirmed to EW.
According to Deadline, which first reported the news, prospective buyers were shown promo footage, after which a hotly contested bidding war commenced. The deal with Focus was struck for a reported $9 million.
Directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud) and starring Joel Edgerton (The Gift) and Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the film tells of a defining moment for the Civil Rights movement. Richard, a white man, married Mildred, an African-American woman, in the 1950s. Although they were arrested and later exiled from Virginia, their fight took them to the Supreme Court, which ruled in the couple’s favor.
“I was struck by the simplicity of the Lovings’ story, and I hope to make this a painfully beautiful film,” Nichols said in an earlier statement.
The first photo from the film debuted online last fall as production commenced in Virginia. The cast also features frequent Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll, and Marton Csokas.