CANNES — Fine Line Features, in keeping with its new slant toward more acquisitions, has picked up all North American rights in a pre-buy for Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean,” the arthouse announced Sunday.
New Line Intl. will handle all worldwide territories outside of Italy. Medusa Film, which sold the project, is distributing in Italy.
Pic, written and helmed by Tornatore, reps the director’s English-language debut. Tim Roth will star in the early 20th century story of a piano prodigy who is born and grows up on board an ocean liner. Based on Alessandro Baricco’s legit monologue “Novecento,” the pic will follow the boy into manhood and through two world wars.
Tornatore placed the budget in the $8 million to $9 million range.
Francesco Tornatore, Giuseppe’s brother, will produce the project for Sciarlo, the production company run by the Tornatore siblings. Laura Fattori is exec producer. Pic is slated to start shooting in July in Rome.