19 March 2013 8:55 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Brit auteur Mike Leigh's upcoming film, currently referred to as "Untitled Mike Leigh 13." Leigh ("Another Year," "Happy-Go-Lucky," "Vera Drake"), who is a seven-time Oscar nominee, has been planning the project for over a decade. This passion project is by far his most ambitious film to date, a portrait of England's hallowed painter J.W.W. Turner. (Leigh expressed his hopes to make the film back at the 2008 Telluride Film Festival, saying at the time that no one would fund the film.) Leigh also went period for his 1999 biopic, a delicious portrait of two artists at work, "Topsy-Turvy," starring Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner as Gilbert and Sullivan, respectively. The director is reteaming with many cast and crew from his previous films, including Timothy Spall ("Secrets & Lies," "Topsy-Turvy"), who will play the lead, director »

- Beth Hanna

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