Bleecker Street has picked up North American distribution rights to Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche historical epic The Return on the eve of the European Film Market. The project, which is directed by Uberto Pasolini, is based on Homer’s ancient classic The Odyssey.
It marks the first time Fiennes and Binoche have worked together since they starred in Oscar-winning title The English Patient in 1996. Charlie Plummer (Lean on Pete) also stars. Script is written by Edward Bond, John Collee and Pasolini and production is expected to begin in Greece in Spring before continuing to Italy.
Bleecker Street is planning a 2024 theatrical release.
Story sees Fiennes play Odysseus who, 20 years after being washed up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable, finally returns home. But much has changed for this King’s kingdom since he left to fight in the Trojan War. His beloved wife Penelope (Binoche) is now a prisoner in her own home, hounded by her many ambitious suitors to choose a new husband, a new king.
Their son Telemachus (Plummer), who has grown up fatherless, is facing death at the hands of the suitors who see him as an obstacle in their relentless pursuit of Penelope and the kingdom. Odysseus has changed too. Scarred by his experience of war, he is no longer the mighty warrior his people remember. But he is forced to face his past in order to rediscover the strength needed to save his family and win back the love he has lost.
The Return is an Italy-Greece-UK-France co-production, produced by Pasolini and James Clayton for Red Wave Films, Roberto Sessa for Picomedia (Asacha Media Group) with Rai Cinema, Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovravkis for Heretic and Stéphane Moatti, Romain Le Grand, Vivien Aslanian and Marco Pacchioni for Kabo Films (Asacha Media Group) and Marvelous Production. Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson will executive produce for Bleecker Street.
The deal was negotiated by Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy of Bleecker Street with HanWay Films, who is handling international sales at the Berlin International Film Festival. HanWay has also sold the title in Benelux (The Searchers), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), Turkey (Mars), Poland (Monolith), Former Yugoslavia (Cinemania), the Baltic States (GPI), the Middle East (Front Row), South Africa (Filmfinity), Singapore (Shaw) and Cinesky has exclusive airline rights.
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