‘Fade’ focuses on Huston as Welles

Vega also stars, Bacon in talks; Odyssey to handle sales

Danny Huston will play Orson Welles in Oliver Parker’s political thriller “Fade to Black,” which is set to start shooting in July.

Pic, adapted by Parker and John Sayles from a novel by Davide Ferrario, takes place in Rome during 1948, when Welles was starring in “Black Magic.”

In the fictionalized story, Welles gets entangled with Italian starlet Lea Padovani, and stumbles into an American plot to subvert the Italian elections so that the Communists don’t win power in the chaotic aftermath of WW2.

Spanish actress Paz Vega (“Spanglish”) will play Padovani, with Kevin Bacon also in talks to star.

Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill’s Odyssey is handling worldwide sales for the $15 million movie, which is being produced by Barnaby Thompson’s Ealing Studios.

Pic is being co-financed by Thema Prods, the Isle of Man, Movieweb and Equation. Shooting will take place in Serbia, the Isle of Man and Italy, with post-production in London.

Thompson will produce with Jonathan Olsberg (who developed early drafts of the script with Sayles) and Massimo Pacilio.

Exec producers are Kamp, James Spring of Ealing, Jimmy de Brabant and Michael Dounvane of Thema, Steve Christian of the Isle of Man and Paul Hughes of Equation.

Ealing previously collaborated with Odyssey on the CGI animated Brit hit “Valiant,” which has grossed $15 million in the U.K. to date.

Kamp and Goodsill said, “Barnaby is one of a very few U.K.-based producers who develops properties targeted at the international marketplace.”

Meanwhile, Warner Brothers has picked up worldwide rights to Ealing’s upcoming “Alien Autopsy,” a British comedy to star TV presenters Ant and Dec, which is being co-produced by Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films.

Another Ealing movie, the romantic comedy “Click” directed by Ol Parker (no relation), has been bought by Universal Pictures Intl for release in the U.K. and Australia. The movie will premiere in the Cannes market.

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