Beta Film all smiles with The Happy Prince
by Annika Pham
- CANNES 2014: BBC Films and Lionsgate UK board Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde movie
Boutique sales outfit Beta Cinema has announced today that BBC Films, Lionsgate UK, and Colin Firth and Ged Doherty’s Raindog Films have committed to The Happy Prince,directed by Rupert Everett from his own script.
Alongside Everett, who plays iconic Irish writer Oscar Wilde, will star Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Edward Fox and the newly added Hugh Dancy. The €10 million European co-production involving Germany, the UK, Belgium and Italy also benefited from a €1.15 million boost from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF). Everett, who recently starred in David Hare’s play The Judas Kiss, has written the untold story of the last days of the author of The Importance of Being Earnest as he comes out of prison and sees his life in flashbacks. “The script is brilliant, with witty dialogue, and the fact that Everett received rave reviews for his performance in The Judas Kiss was crucial for the financing,” says Thorsten Ritter, Beta Cinema’s EVP acquisitions, sales and marketing. The film will start filming in October.
From his Grand Hotel ground-floor office in Cannes, Ritter is also pleased to announce that Dietrich Brüggemann’s Silver Bear-winning film Stations of the Cross [+see also:
Q&A: Dietrich Brüggemann
film profile] has been acquired by Film Movement for the US, pushing the total territories sold to over 20. The German film is screening at the market, along with The Physician [+see also:
film profile], starring Ben Kingsley and Stellan Skarsgård, which saw much box-office success in Germany and Spain.
Upcoming titles that should attract buyers’ interest include the €4 million Im labyrinth (Labyrinth of Lies), shown as a promo at Cannes. The film, starring Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds [+see also:
film profile]), features the investigations that led to the first Auschwitz trials in post-war Germany. Universal will release it in Germany later this year. Finally, We Are Young, We Are Strong – the follow-up to Burhan Qurbani’s Berlinale competition entry Shahada (Faith) [+see also:
film profile] – explores outbursts of xenophobia from the German middle class.