EXCLUSIVE: As is often the case, two weeks before the Cannes market buyers were getting a little antsy about the lack of banner projects on offer. Those fears have largely evaporated as the enticing projects have rolled in, despite anxiety over the impact of the strike.
The latest hot package on offer is Oscar nominee Pablo Larraín’s (Jackie) biopic Maria about American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas which has Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Eternals) aboard to star. Blue chip outfit FilmNation has newly boarded world sales and is launching ahead of the market, which gets underway next week.
The film, which was first revealed last fall, is based on true accounts and will tell the tumultuous story of the world’s greatest female opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris. Additional casting is underway.
Pic was written by fellow Oscar nominee Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders. Pablo Larraín’s brother and creative partner Juan de Dios Larraín will produce for Fabula Pictures, alongside Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures and Jonas Dornbach for Komlizen Film.
Jolie most recently appeared in Marvel’s Eternals and the Warner Bros drama Those Who Wish Me Dead. She’s currently in post-production on Without Blood — her fifth feature as a director, and the first under her new three-year deal with Fremantle, announced back in March.
Chilean filmmaker Larraín is best known for features including Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, and Jackie, which had Natalie Portman portraying Jackie Kennedy.
FilmNation’s bumper Cannes slate includes Amy Adams-Paul Rudd comedy The Invite, Dave Bautista action-thriller The Cooler, Andrew Garfield project Voyagers, and Stephen King adaptation The Life Of Chuck with Tom Hiddleston and Mark Hamill.