Pathe picks up Meirelles’ ‘Blindness’

Distrib takes U.K., France

LONDON — Pathe has pre-bought U.K. and French rights to the upcoming Fernando Meirelles project “Blindness” from Focus Features Intl., and Chris Nahon’s “Blood: The Last Vampire” from Edko Films.

These are the first joint deals between Pathe’s French and British distribution arms since exec VP Francois Ivernel was promoted to oversee both operations, and make them work better together.

“Combining acquisitions for Pathe’s French and U.K. operations is proving to be extremely efficient and strategically successful for securing some of the strongest titles on the market,” Ivernel commented.

Pathe has also acquired U.K. rights to Barry Levinson’s Hollywood satire “What Just Happened?” from 2929 Intl., and Tim Hamilton’s “Mama’s Boy” from Fortissimo.

“Blindness,” set to shoot this fall in Sao Paolo, Brazil, stars Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in an adaptation of Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize winning satire about what happens when the world is struck by an epidemic of blindness.

“Blood: The Last Vampire” is a live-action adaptation of a Japanese manga cartoon about a female vampire slayer, featuring Korean superstar Gianna Jun. Pathe is co-financing the movie through its 50/50 joint venture with producer Abel Nahmias.

“What Just Happened?” is based on Art Linson’s tales of his misadventures in the movie trade, and stars Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, John Turturro, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn and Stanley Tucci.

“Mama’s Boy” stars Diane Keaton and Jon Heder is a comedy about a slacker whose easy life in his mother’s house is threatened when she decides to get remarried.

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