Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Mary Harron’s “Daliland” and is planning a theatrical release in 2023.
The biopic about the legendary Surrealist, Salvador Dali, was the closing-night film in the recent Toronto Film Festival. It stars Ben Kingsley as the mature Dali and Ezra Miller as his younger incarnation. Barbara Sukowa plays the artist’s wife, Gala.
In announcing the deal, Magnolia’s president Eamonn Bowles was quoted as saying, “Ben Kingsley wonderfully inhabits Salvador Dalí’s persona, and Barbara Sukowa is his match in this suitably wild and entertaining film from Mary Harron.”
And director Harron returned the compliment by saying “I am delighted that “Dalíland” will be released by Magnolia Pictures, who have distributed so many great independent films.”
“Daliland,” which is set in New York and Spain in 1974, focuses on the crumbling marriage between Salvador and Gala, as told by the artist’s ambitious assistant, James, played by Christopher Briney. Also starring are Rupert Graves, Suki Waterhouse, and Andreja Pejic.
Directed by Harron and written by her husband John C. Walsh, “Dalíland” is presented by David O. Sacks Productions and Edward R. Pressman Productions in association with Bankside Films, Chris Curling, Lavender Films, Serein Productions, Burger Collection and Popcorn Group. Magnolia’s executive vice president Dori Begley negotiated the deal on behalf of the distributor.
However, the Salvador Dali Foundation has claimed that the filmmakers neglected to seek their approval for the rights. In response, the producers claimed that the film did not improperly use any material under copyright protection or create any scenes that could be considered derogatory to the artist.
In his review of “Dalíland” for The Wrap, Martin Tsai wrote how the flashback scenes of the older and younger Dali appearing together “add a lot of heart and soul to a setting that’s purposely excessive and vacuous. They exhibit a level of depth and immensity not previously seen in Harron’s work, which is truly exciting to witness for those who have been following.”
This is not the first film Harron has made of an eccentric artist: her “I Shot Andy Warhol” was released in 1996.
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