Cherry’s tall ‘Tales’ sets Cannes buzzing

Kelly pic nabbed by shingle

Cherry Road Films has landed in Cannes boasting the most talked-about pic on the Croisette: “Southland Tales,” written and directed by “Donnie Darko” helmer Richard Kelly.

Santa Monica shingle’s slate also includes “Spring Break in Bosnia,” scripted by Richard Shepard (“The Matador”); and pics written by Stuart Beattie (“Collateral”) and Joshua Marston (“Maria Full of Grace”).

“Southland Tales” — four-year-old Cherry Roads’ first film in competish at Cannes — is screening today after days of buzz. Pic is one of the few titles in Cannes available for U.S. distribution. Focus was given a first-look thanks to its relationship with UIP, which is distribbing the pic in several overseas territories, but as of Saturday no deal had been inked.

Pic has sparked curiosity due to its multi-category genre — “Southland Tales” is a sci-fi-thriller-musical — its 2½-hour length and ensemble cast, which includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seann William Scott.

Cherry Road also financed and developed “Spring Break in Bosnia,” which is set up at The Weinstein Co. with Intermedia and QED.

At Warner Independent Pictures, Cherry Road is developing “Man Without a Gun,” a true story about one man’s fight to free hostages in Iran, written by Stuart Beattie with Jennifer Klein producing.

It also has “White Jazz,” written by Matt Carnahan and to be directed by Joe Carnahan (“Narc”), based on James Ellroy’s novel; “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” written by Oren Moverman (“Jesus’ Son”); an untitled project written by Joshua Marston about the men who drive trucks in Iraq for the U.S. military; and “Solitaire,” written by Gregory Widen and based on a Kelly Eskeridge sci-fi novel.

Outside of WIP, Cherry Road wants to begin production this summer and fall on pics including: “Money for Nothing,” which Jim Kouf is adapting from Donald Westlake’s spy comedy novel; “Manhattan Loverboy,” based on the novel by Arthur Nersesian about a New York man’s battle against a CEO to be directed by Yann Samuel (“Love Me If You Dare”); “Illegal Superman,” a bittersweet drama about two Mexican teenagers in New York City; and “Dark Reaches,” a teen horror pic to be directed by Jason Xenoplous (“Promise Land”), which Double Edge and Yari Films are also producing and financing.

Cherry Roads was founded by financier Bo Hyde and producer Kendall Morgan. Tommaso Fiacchino is development exec.

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