Studio picks up U.S. rights to adaptation of Broadway play

Sony has nabbed U.S. distribution rights to George Clooney’s adaptation of the Broadway play “Farragut North,” with plans for a platform release next December before expanding wide in January 2012.

Clooney is set to direct and star in the pic, titled “The Ides of March,” about a young press spokesman who falls prey to backroom politics. Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood are also starring.

In a title tussle, Sony originally wanted to use the play’s more recognizable moniker for U.S. auds, but wound up going with Clooney’s choice, “The Ides of March.” “Farragut North” debuted on Broadway in 2008.

Exclusive Media Group, headed by co-chairs Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, and Brian Oliver of Cross Creek Pictures will finance and co-produce the pic. Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smoke House Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Prods are sharing producing credits.

CAA, which packaged and raised the financing for the project, represented the film’s domestic distribution rights on behalf of the filmmakers.

The domestic deal should help pave the way for selling overseas rights.

Exclusive will handle international distribution, introducing the project to buyers at the American Film Market, which kicks off Wednesday.

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