George Miller’s ‘Three Thousand Years Of Longing’ With Idris Elba & Tilda Swinton Sells To China

Sunac Culture has pre-bought Chinese distribution rights to George Miller’s anticipated fantasy-romance Three Thousand Years Of Longing.

Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton are due to star in the feature, which was meant to start production in March but was pushed back by the pandemic. The movie is expected to shoot in Australia, London and Istanbul but a start date has not been set.

Mad Max: Fury Road filmmaker Miller has written and will direct, and is producing along with Doug Mitchell.

CAA Media Finance, which recently closed a deal with MGM for the film’s North American rights, brokered the deal with Sunac Culture. FilmNation had previously pre-sold the film internationally.

Plot details have been kept under wraps. Here is what the filmmaker told Deadline in December about the film, which he said has been in his mind for 15 years.

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“Look, I’m happy to talk about the new film very elliptically, but I’ve always felt that if you talk about these films before they’re actually completed, you jinx them. And ultimately until it’s done you don’t know what it is. I see the title of this film as a riddle, and it’s more or less at heart a two-hander, even though it’s way more complex than that. Tilda and Idris are the two characters at the center of this thing. I can’t even decide what genre it is, to be honest. And that’s a good thing. I like to think in these days that to have a chance of people taking notice of what you’re doing, without being overly flamboyant, your film needs to be uniquely familiar. That’s the term I use. The audience is looking for that, something that seems fresh and atypical. In this case, every time I think, oh it’s this kind of film, I say yes but also it’s that kind of film. I would hope that translates into people feeling that what we’re trying to do is interesting.

“One thing I can tell you; it’s not [another Fury Road],” he said. “It’s a movie that is very strongly visual, but it’s almost the opposite of Fury Road. It’s almost all interior and there’s a lot of conversation in it. There are action scenes, but they are by the by and I guess you could say it’s the anti-Mad Max.”

How did Miller arrive on Elba and Swinton?

“It arose out of the characters as written,” he said. “I met both of them at some events at separate times and the moment I got to talk to them, they suddenly just slotted into the roles. I was really very happy they were available and interested and that they responded very well to the material. My hope is they will be doing something quite different than either of them has done before. I know I’m being a bit enigmatic but I don’t want to say more about the content of the film.”

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