Meirelles takes on Shakespeare

'Love's Labour's Lost' will be mostly in English

RIO DE JANEIRO — “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is the tentative title of helmer Fernando Meirelles’ next feature, which will be shot mostly in English, says Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Meirelles’ partner in local production company O2 Filmes.

O2 expects to make the pic, currently on script stage, in 2009. Barata Ribeiro adds that the production will be funded both with Brazilian incentive funds and coin from foreign co-production partners. O2 Films is negotiating with possible foreign co-producers.

One possibility could be to include the pic in O2’s production agreement with Universal Pictures, which provides for the studio to fund five pics in Brazil for as much as $10 million each.

The first pic from the deal, Heitor Dhalia’s “Adrift,” is in post-production. But Barata Ribeiro says her company will likely seek a different funding path for the project.

Meirelles’ new pic will be based on the novel of the same name by local writer-director Jorge Furtado, who is writing the pic’s script.

The plot is centered on the experiences of a Brazilian young man who moves to New York to study William Shakespeare. While the title refer’s to Shakespeare’s play “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” the project isn’t a production of the play.

Meirelles is working on a Portuguese-language TV series that is also related to Shakespeare’s universe. “Som & Furia” is an adaptation of Canadian series “Slings and Arrows,” which portrays the backstage goings-on of a theater company that stages Shakespeare’s plays. O2 is lensing the 12-episode series, which Brazil’s TV Globo will air in February 2009.

The pic and series are not directly connected, except that they both have characters somehow involved with the Bard’s work.

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