Wilde adaptation stars Dench, Everett, Firth

CANNES — Leading Italian distributor Medusa Film has picked up all rights for the territory from Good Machine Intl. to Oliver Parker’s Oscar Wilde adaptation “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Now shooting in Britain with Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor and Reese Witherspoon, the deal marks the second Parker-directed Oscar Wilde adaptation to be distributed by Medusa: The Italian company handled the successful release of “An Ideal Husband.”

Miramax will release “Earnest” in North America.

Medusa reports that negotiations are proceeding in Cannes to secure European co-production partners for Franco Zeffirelli’s biopic “Callas For-ever,” with Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons; and for Carlo Vanzina’s London-set English-language comedy “South Kensington,” also starring Everett.

The company also is in advanced negotiations for sales to key foreign territories of Gabriele Muccino’s melodrama “The Last Kiss,” the runaway sleeper hit of the current Italian B.O. season.

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