Director Grant ready to 'Make It Happen'

The Weinstein Co. has pre-bought North American rights to “Make It Happen,” a dance movie set in the world of burlesque.

“Diary of a Mad Black Woman” helmer Darren Grant is onboard to direct.

Pic, which starts shooting Aug. 7 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is written by Duane Adler, whose credits include “Save the Last Dance” and “Step Up,” both profitable entries in the recently burgeoning dance subgenre. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Live Free or Die Hard,” “Bobby”) and Tessa Thompson (“Veronica Mars”).

The Mayhem Project is financing the film, which will be produced by Mayhem CEO Anthony Mosawi and production prexy Brad Luff. Mayhem is a production/financing entity backed by two U.K.-based hedge funds. Mosawi was chief operating officer at Mutual Film Co., a Paramount-based outfit that backed the “Tomb Raider” pics, among others.

In “Make It Happen,” Winstead plays a small-town woman who moves to Chi with dreams of entering the Chicago School of Dance but winds up working in a burlesque club. According to a plot description provided by TWC, the club “proves to be a place of conflict and self-discovery.”

Glen Basner, head of international for TWC, said Adler “has written another highly entertaining script about a world that he understands better than anyone, one that both fills seats and moves feet.”

TWC sold foreign territories on the pic at Berlin, Cannes and last year’s Toronto. “Make It Happen” is the first title that TWC sold internationally, only to later take North American rights.

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