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Embankment Films Making Greta Garbo Feature Doc “Garbo Leave Me Alone”


EXCLUSIVE: Embankment Films is making Garbo: Leave Me Alone, a feature documentary about the enigmatic movie star who died in 1990. The doc will have previously unseen archive material including personal photographs of Garbo and letters written by the iconic actress, who is regarded as one of the all-time greats.

Production is underway and the film will have a theatrical release at the end of this year before bowing on Sky in the UK in 2025. It is being made in partnership With Non Stop Entertainment and co-produced with Mylla Films, the Scandi label founded by Patrik Andersson and Jakob Abrahamsson. Fremantle is on board for international sales.

Lorna Tucker, whose previous work includes Katharine Hepburn feature doc Call Me Kate, will direct. “This is a natural follow on to Call Me Kate in a way because it’s a similar era, but it is a very different story because here is somebody who just walked away from [stardom],” producer Nick Taussig told Deadline.

Embankment is working with the Swedish Film Institute and Scott Reisfeld who manages the Garbo estate – and those relationships unlocked the trove of new archive material. Drama vignettes will be used in the film to bring to key moments to life .

At age 35, with four Academy Award nominations, Garbo suddenly retired, never to act again. Until the end of her life, a half century later, she fiercely declined all opportunities to return to the screen, shunning publicity.

The film will be a contemporary retelling of Garbo’s story. “You basically had a young woman living in relative poverty in Sweden who ended up a queen of Hollywood for a period of time, which is extraordinary,” Taussig explained. “There was no privilege, and I think, for us, it’s very much about trying to tell that, it’s about that story of her rise.”

Embankment has moved into creating its own content that plays on both the big and small screen. It has partnered with veteran UK producer Kevin Loader and, separately, brought in Taussig, Malcolm Neaum, Sophie Harmer and Henry Farrington to boost its non-fiction department. The factual slate includes the recently announced Riccardo Servini film Dwarf Story, picked up by ITV, and Daniel Gordon’s Strike: An Uncivil War, about the UK miners’ strike.

The financing plan for the feature docs sees them have a cinema release, meaning they qualify for UK film incentives. Taussig, who was the founder of Salon Pictures and produced fashion doc McQueen, said Embankment will use its film finance smarts to build a slate of festival friendly fare that also has mainstream appeal.

“As an independent film sales and financing company Embankment is used to working with quite complex financing models,” he said. “And what that means is that we can, for example, go ‘okay, let’s make this theatrical, let’s utilize the UK film tax credit,’ which many TV production companies might not think of.”

In terms of Embankment’s next moves in factual and unscripted, there are more big-ticket biographical docs are in the works – and a move into series is afoot. “Singles are just harder and harder to do” Taussig said. “I think a focus is on talent-led and also access-driven series, which are something Malcom has done a lot of with Savile Row and others – he has that experience of getting access to really interesting and surprising precincts.”



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