Dramatic mystery reincarnated, Kidman still attached

Birth,” a Jonathan Glazer project that was to be financed by Regency Enterprises, has been reborn at Fine Line Features.

The New Line specialty label has acquired worldwide rights to the pic, to be directed by Glazer (“Sexy Beast”) from a script he penned along with Jean-Claude Carriere (“Belle de Jour”). Film will begin production in Gotham in January. Nicole Kidman remains attached to star, although her deal has yet to close.

Fine Line’s entrance into the highend film, budgeted at over $20 million, energizes a shingle that has been less active than in past years, with topper Mark Ordesky supervising production of the “Lord of the Rings” franchise. Ordesky, who splits his time between Los Angeles and New Zealand, where the second installment of the trilogy is being completed, closed the deal from New Zealand.

“This is not a one-off,” Ordesky told Daily Variety. “This is part of a plan to split Fine Line’s slate between these types of higher-budgeted, upscale adult films and Fine Line’s bread and butter — more traditional, low-budgeted arthouse fare.”

Regency Enterprises previously confirmed that it had “Birth,” but Glazer and his producers elected to go with Fine Line.

“Birth” is a dramatic mystery set in New York’s Upper East Side in which a 35-year-old woman encounters a 10-year-old boy who is in love with her and is convinced he is the reincarnation of her dead husband. Reviewing her past, the woman begins to question the choices she’s made, much to the consternation of her fiance and family.

Glazer developed “Birth” with scribe Carriere through his co-owned London-based musicvid and commercials shingle Academy Prods. (Variety, Sept. 2). Pic, for which “Monster’s Ball” scribe Milo Addica penned additional dialogue, will be produced by Jean-Louis Piel and Wang Wei for Lou-Yi, and Nick Morris and Lizie Gower for Academy. Xavier Marchand will executive produce. London-based Ileen Maisel will oversee the production for Fine Line.

“This is an incredibly captivating and provocative script,” said Ordesky. “And Jonathan Glazer’s vision for it is so psychologically rich. It will be a bonanza for great actors.”

Pact was negotiated by Ordesky, Maisel and Carolyn Blackwood for Fine Line, and George Hayum for Lou-Yi and Carlos Goodman for Academy.

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