While the biggest game in town at the past week’s AFM has arguably been Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, other prestige titles have certainly enticed foreign buyers. Among them, Pathé‘s Florence, which is now going by the name Florence Foster Jenkins. The Stephen Frears-directed biopic about the real-life New York heiress and socialite who coveted a career as a great opera singer, but who lacked any real ability, stars Meryl Streep in the eponymous role and Hugh Grant as her partner and manager. Pathé has retained distribution rights in the UK, France and Switzerland. The international sales team, led by Muriel Sauzay, also secured key deals during the market in Australia (eOne), Germany (Constantin), Greece (Feelgood), Hong Kong (Sun Dream), Israel (Shani), Italy (Lucky Red), Japan (Gaga), the Middle East (Gulf Film), Scandinavia (Svensk), South Africa (M-Net) and Turkey (Fabula), among several other territories.
Florence Foster Jenkins is Frears’ follow-up to 2013 crowd-pleaser and award-winner Philomena (he’s also got the as-yet unreleased Lance Armstrong biopic). Philomena, which bowed to raves in Venice last year, made over $100M worldwide — $62M from overseas including $18M in the UK, $10M in Oz and $8M in Italy. Pathé says it is in negotiations on 13 other territories and talking with several U.S. buyers for Florence. Based on a script by Nicholas Martin, the film is scheduled to start principal photography in May 2015.
Producers are Michael Kuhn, and Tracey Seaward. Exec producers are Cameron McCracken for Pathé and Christine Langan for BBC Films.