It has multi-territory rights to 'A Dangerous Method'

Universal Pictures Intl. has picked up international distribution rights to David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and South Africa.

The pic, starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, will reunite Cronenberg with “Crash” producer Jeremy Thomas. It will begin shooting in Germany in May.

HanWay Films will handle international sales and has secured worldwide pre-sale deals with Mars in France, El Films in Canada, Transmission in Australia, Lusomundo in Portugal, Cineart in Benelux, Odeon in Greece and Romania, Monolith in Poland, Discovery in ex-Yugoslavia, Maywin in Russia and Swen in Latin America.

The pic is based on the relationships between psychiatrist Carl Jung (Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) and Sabina Spielrein (Knightley).

Pic is co-produced through Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company with Marco Mehlitz of Lago Film in Germany and Marty Katz of ProsperoFilm in Canada.

Script is penned by Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liasons”) from his own stage play.

“We have wanted to work with Jeremy for a long time because he is one of the most commercially and critically successful international producers working today,” said Christian Grass, UPI prexy of international production and acquisitions.

” ‘A Dangerous Method’ has provided the perfect opportunity for us to team up and we’re confident that the pairing of Christopher Hampton’s utterly compelling screenplay with director David Croenenberg’s unique creative vision will result in a film that will resonate with audiences all around the world.”

The “Method” deal is UPI’s second significant announcement this month.

In early April, it announced it would co-produce Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Clive Owen starrer “Intruders” with Madrid-based Apaches Entertainment and Antena 3 Films, with UPI taking international distribution rights outside the U.S.

The two deals come as “Heartbreaker,” one of UPI’s first Gallic co-productions, has taken Euros18.3 million ($24.5 million) in France, making it the highest-grossing French film of 2010.

(John Hopewell in Madrid contributed to this report.)

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