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Cannes: TWC Go After ‘The Sapphires’ and James Gray’s ‘Low Life’; Sony, ARC, and FilmDistrict Make Deals

Posted by , on May 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm 

Cannes is, ultimately, both an exhibition of wonderful films and a celebration of the very medium, but there’s a very good amount of business taking place after the screenings finish — and, many times, for films that don’t even play in competition. So, as things kick off over in France, Variety reports that The Weinstein Company have procured international rights to The Sapphires, a music biopic — starring, most notably, Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) — that will play as part of the festival’s Midnight Screenings.

The film tells of four Aboriginal girls (Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell) that are snatched up by a rowdy Irish producer (O’Dowd), who takes them to Vietnam to entertain American soldiers during the war. Wayne Blair directed the film, while Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson have written the screenplay.

Next up, TOH (via ThePlaylist) says TWC is also angling toward James Gray‘s Low Life, a period drama led by Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner. In the picture, Cotillard plays a ’20s Polish immigrant suckered into a life of prostitution by a pimp (Phoenix); Renner‘s character, a magician, makes attempts to save her from this world. With that cast, helmer, and premise, you can see why we might be excited about how this one turns out.

The Weinsteins are also looking to make a politically-tinged move, with Deadline also informing us that they’ve taken an interest in Code Name: Geronimo, the latest in a line of features pertaining to Osama bin Laden. The film — directed by John Stockwell (Dark Tide) and starring Cam Gigandet, Xzibit, Freddy Rodriguez, Eddie Kaye Thomas (Jesus, make it stop), and William Fichtner (there we go) — the Voltage-produced picture is an account of the Navy SEAL team that made the decisive attack against the terrorist leader this time last year. Shooting is completed, and an acquisition could put it into theaters this fall, even placing it ahead of Kathryn Bigelow‘s star-studded Zero Dark Thirty. But, to put it lightly, I don’t think those people have got anything to worry about.

Next up, Variety also informs us that Sony Pictures Classics will be handling international rights on Love Is All You Need, the newest film from In a Better World helmer Susanne Bier. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, and Trine Dyrholm, the movie revolves around people looking for companionship in Sorrento, Italy. There’s no word on a release, but I’d expect this to hit in the fall — not long before Bier‘s other film, Serena.

Coming back to Deadline, it’s said that ARC have bought Terry George‘s Whole Lotta Sole, starring Brendan Fraser and Colm Meaney. Thought a comedy, Sole takes the crime route by focusing on a man (Martin McCann) who robs a fish market owned by the very gangster he owes money to (David O’Hara); with that not panning out, he takes hostage the occupants of a curio shop, one of whom is “a man who might be his illegitimate father.” It sounds like fun, but our Tribeca review wasn’t entirely complimentary, either. Poor Fraser.

Finally, TheWrap says that FilmDistrict, possibly in hopes of replication the success found on Insidious, are buying Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus. News on the film got out two weeks ago, where we were told the scare-a-thon revolves around a man who blames “a haunted antique mirror for the death of his parents.” After moving on years later, his sister finds herself “determined to prove that the haunted mirror was responsible for destroying their family.” Casting and a production schedule haven’t been panned out quite yet, but that should be changing soon.

Which of these films are you keeping the biggest eye out on?


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