‘Therese,’ ‘Countess’ going Global

Distrib takes on pic pair

Global Cinema Group will handle foreign rights on “Therese Raquin,” an adaptation of the Emile Zola novel, and on Merchant Ivory’s Chinese romantic drama “The White Countess.”

Budgeted just under $10 million, “Therese Raquin” will shoot in the Czech Republic in late summer. Joseph Fiennes and Franke Potente star. The classic story is a melodrama about Therese and her lover who conspire to murder Therese’s weak husband.

Charlie Stratton, who adapted the script from Neal Bell’s stage version, will direct. Producers are Stefan Vorzacek and Ludvik Nemec of LumarFilm and Micky Liddell and Greg Berlanti of Liddell Berlanti Prods.

“White Countess,” directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, stars Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave. Global rep the film at Cannes along with Merchant Ivory pic “Heights.”

Budgeted at $16 million, “White Countess” is based on an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, whose novel “The Remains of the Day” was filmed by Merchant Ivory. Set in late-1930s Shanghai, “White Countess” chronicles the relationship between a blind U.S. diplomat and a White Russian countess reduced to working as a taxi dancer. Pic is slated for an August start in China, with Sony Pictures Classics releasing the film in the U.S.

Global prexy Peter Elson recently announced a financing, producing and distribution agreement with Daybreak Pacific, a New Zealand financing and production house.

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