Another U.S. deal to heat up a freezing, cold Berlin. Fresh from the success of Call Me By Your Name, Sony Pictures Classic has picked up rights to Rupert Everett’s directorial debut The Happy Prince.
The specialty label has bought North American and Latin American rights to the film, which was written and directed by and stars Everett. This comes ahead of its European premiere at the festival and follows its Sundance bow last month.
The film, which also stars Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson, details the final three years (1897–1900) of Oscar Wilde’s life. Sequestered at a remote seaside hotel in France by faithful friends, a buoyant Wilde is soon restlessly traversing Europe under assumed names, beset by familiar impulses: to reunite with his estranged wife or his former lover Sir Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, whose former provocations brought Wilde to ruin. Fading health, dwindling funds, and still more betrayals await Wilde, who relentlessly seeks love and creative outlets in whatever taverns and alleyways still welcome him.
The film was produced by Sébastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer and Jörg Schulze. It is produced by Maze Pictures and Entre Chien et Loup production in co-production with Palomar, Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Tele München Group, RTBF, Proximus and in association with BBC Films. CAA represented the filmmakers in the negotiation. Beta Cinema represents the international rights.
Everett said that he was “absolutely thrilled” with the deal, particularly because Sony Pictures Classic’s co-presidents and founders Tom Bernard and Michael Barker had distributed his first film Another Country. The studio is expected to launch the film later this year.
Everett told Deadline last month about portraying Oscar Wilde: “The most exciting part is this riches-to-rags side of him. The terrible fall from being a huge celebrity to being on the streets to me was very romantic.”