Pathe Pix grooms ‘Husband’

Byrne, Driver, Everett among castmembers

CANNES — Oliver Parker’s film of Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband” will be the second project produced through Pathe Pictures’ U.K. lottery franchise, subject to approval by the Arts Council of England.

The $11 million movie, which will star Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, Gabriel Byrne and Rupert Everett, has been sold to Miramax Films for North America, Spain and Italy, at a reported price tag of $6.5 million. Miramax won the pic against strong competition from the newly formed Paramount Classics division.

Pathe has submitted the pic to ACE for lottery funding as part of its first package of three franchise projects, which also includes Simon Beaufoy’s “The Darkest Light.” ACE is due to make its decision May 20, but it would be a major surprise for Pathe’s projects to be rejected.

“An Ideal Husband” is an adaptation of Wilde’s social comedy. The film is produced by Barnaby Thompson and Uri Fruchtmann of Fragile Films, along with Icon’s Bruce Davey. Exec producers are Susan Landau and Ralph Kamp.

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