After consulting informally on Luc Besson‘s mafia actioner Malavita, Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese has come aboard the Robert De Niro-Tommy Lee Jones starrer as executive producer. Scorsese and Besson put their heads together through the film’s pre-production and filming and will continue collaborating as the EuropaCorp and Relativity production heads toward its October 18 release date. Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron and John D’Leo also star in the dark comedy about the Manzonis, a mob family that goes into witness protection in Normandy, France. Besson is producing and directing from his script, adapted with Michael Caleo from Tonino Benacquista’s book Badfellas. Virginie Besson-Silla is producing for EuropaCorp, with Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh producing and Tucker Tooley executive producing. WME and manager Rick Yorn repped Scorsese in the deal.
Luc Besson’s films have long been big in Japan. Now, the French multi-hyphenate is looking to establish a footprint in China. Besson’s studio, EuropaCorp, today said it has signed an exclusive co-production and distribution pact with Shanghai-based Fundamental Films. The 3-year output deal covers at least 15 Europa films to be released theatrically in China as well as a commitment from Fundamental to co-produce 3 of the 15 titles. The first picture to be released under the deal is the Besson-directed Malavita with Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and the recently added Dianna Agron and John D’Leo. Deal terms also allow for Europa to handle 3 Chinese films on the international market. Headed by entrepreneur Mark Gao, Fundamental’s previous local releases have included Limitless, Killer Elite and The Grey.
(Beverly Hills, Calif.) May 24, 2012 – Relativity Media announced today it has struck a co-production and co-financing deal with Luc Besson’s (Taken, Transporter) EuropaCorp on the upcoming films Malavita and Three Days To Kill. The companies will work in tandem on both projects throughout the creative and production process. Out of the gate, Besson will helm Malavita, a darkly comedic actioner starring Robert De Niro. The script is adapted by Besson from the book Badfellas by author Tonino Benacquista. Pre-production will begin in July with filming set for August at La Cité du Cinéma, where the brand new Studios de Paris are located. Additional shooting will take place in Normandy, France and New York. The film will bow in 2013 with Relativity handling U.S. distribution as well as working with its foreign output partners on the film’s release in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Greece, Thailand and CIS. EuropaCorp will take on distribution in France and handle international sales. Malavita is the story of the Manzonis, a notorious mafia family who gets relocated to France under the witness protection program. The second film under the deal is Three Days To Kill, an action tale with a sense of humor from a script by Besson and Adi Hasak (From Paris With Love). It’s about Secret Service Agent Ethan Runner who discovers he’s dying and decides to retire in order to reconnect with his estranged family but is offered access to an experimental drug that could save his life but has hallucinatory side-effects.