Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) won’t make its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival until Tuesday, but Mongrel Media has already stepped in to acquire all Canadian rights. The plan is for a fall 2013 release. The film — Sorrentino’s fifth competition on the Croisette — tells the story of an aging writer who who bitterly recollects his passionate lost youth against the backdrop of modern Rome. It stars Tony Servillo, who also starred in Sorrentino’s Il Divo, which Mongrel also released in Canada.
Cohen Media Group has acquired National Book Award winner The Inventor And The Tycoon, Edward Ball’s recently published book about the true story of photography and motion picture pioneer Edward Muybridge and wealthy industrialist and politician Leland Stanford. The acquisition was negotiated by Cohen chairman and CEO Charles S. Cohen and ICM agency, which reps Ball. The book focuses on a shocking incident: At the time of his work with Stanford that resulted in the creation of one of the first motion pictures, Muybridge killed a drama critic friend of his young wife after he discovered the man may have fathered their baby son. At his murder trial Muybridge refused to deny his actions and was acquitted on the grounds of “justifiable homicide.” Stanford arranged for his defense. “Edward Muybridge’s great accomplishments are well known, but his life story has faded over time”, Cohen said. “Edward Ball’s remarkable book brings Muybridge and all his uniqueness back to life, and we are thrilled to be able to bring his story to the screen.”
UK-based Stealth Media Group and Iron Sky producer Cathy Overett’s new shingle Cathartic Pictures have joined to produce a revolving slate of films and to set up an Australian outpost the sales agent. The first film in the deal is Bullets For The Dead, a $2M zombie Western set to shoot in Queensland Australia in July, followed by Bite, a $5M vampire film slated to shoot in Oz in October. Stealth Australia is also looking to pick up 2-3 films a year out of Australia.
Glavkino, the Russian all-digital film and TV production studio set up by filmmaker Feodor Bondarchuk and Ilya Bachurin, has announced its first feature film production investments and that a second phase of development will see a second $100M investment. Four titles are in the works: Action adventure Aqua Vitae, directed by Yury Bykov, who has The Major in the Critics Week sidebar; drama Flip-out, directed by Pyotr Buslov; and horror-of-war anthology WWI, produced by and starring Bondarchuk; and comedic drama Buoy, directed by Taisia Igumentseva.