Richard Gere‘s first starring role since his Golden Globe-nominated turn in Arbitrage will be as a hedonistic philanthropist who ingratiates himself into the lives of a newlywed couple in order to re-create the life he once had. Andrew Renzi wrote and will direct Franny, which he developed through the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Production starts next month, and QED will launch international sales at Toronto. The film is being produced by Treehouse Pictures, which also did 2012′s Arbitrage; that film became a VOD sensation — grossing a whopping $12 million in VOD as part of a $52 million total worldwide gross, and making that release strategy no longer feel like a consolation prize. Thomas B. Fore, Jason Michael Berman and Jay Schuminsky are producing Franny, with Shelley Browning, Michael Diamond, Ruth Mutch and John Friedberg exec producing. Renzi’s credits include the shorts Karaoke! and The Fort, both of which premiered at Sundance. Gere is repped by WME and attorney Barry Hirsch. Renzi is with CAA, Washington Square Arts and attorney Linda Lichter.

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