Add Roland Joffe’s “City Of Joy,” gritty drama set in the slums of Calcutta, to the list of pictures that provoked very different responses from the domestic and foreign divisions of a U.S. major.
Warner Bros. Intl. has nabbed a slew of territories for the $28 million film, due to roll Feb. 9, after it was put into turnaround by the studio’s domestic chiefs and Tri-Star took U.S. rights.
“The project was initiated with our international organization, and our domestic colleagues were not as excited about it as we were,” was the diplomatic slant from Frank Pierce, WB v.p.- Europe.
Pierce allows the subject matter is “very depressing,” but, Warner secured all rights for the U.K. and Ireland, Scandinavia, Italy, Spain and Latin America except Puerto Rico.
French-speaking rights have been dealt to AMLF, and Nippon Herald has it for Japan; remaining territories are being fielded by Guy East’s Majestic Films Intl.
“City Of Joy,” from Joffe and Jake Eberts’ Lightmotive, is scripted by Mark Medoff, adapted from the Dominique Lapierre novel about an American doctor, an Indian family and an Irish missionary.
Alongside Swayze are Pauline Collins(Shirley Valentine”) and Art Malik (“My Beautiful Laundrette,” “A Passage To India.”)