Inferno's sci-fi starrer a hot int'l title at Cannes

EXCLUSIVE: Inferno Entertainment has nearly pre-sold all international territories for Stephenie Meyer’s pic “The Host,” one of the hot titles at this year’s Cannes market.

Pic, from “The Twilight Saga” scribe and toplining Saoirse Ronan, went to Entertainment Film Distributors in Blighty, Metropolitan Filmexport in France, DeAPlaneta in Spain and TeleMunchen for Germany and Switzerland.

Other deals include Italy (Eagle), Benelux (Independent Films), Australia (Hoyts), Greece and Cyprus (Italia Film), Iceland (Sam Film), Russia (West), Israel (United King), Portugal (Lusomundo), Scandinavia (Mis Label), Turkey (Italia Film), Latin America (Swen), Hong Kong (Tomson Intl.) and China (Fundamental Films).

Deals for Canada and South Korea are in final negotiations and while the pic has yet to nab a U.S. release, Inferno is in advanced discussions with several domestic distribs.

Pic, helmed by Andrew Niccol (who also adapted the screenplay of Meyer’s tome), is produced by Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler and Meyer while Inferno’s Marc Butan, Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson are exec-producers. Roger Schwartz serves as co-producer.

Producers are financing the pic with Inferno, which kicked off sales with a bang in Cannes last week. Meyer descended upon the Croisette to meet with buyers. The efforts proved worthwhile as pic had bidding wars in multiple territories all keen to get their hands on the next project from the woman behind the “Twilight” cash cow.

Pic is eyeing a January start date.

“The Host,” published in 2008, revolves around the takeover of Earth by an alien race known as Souls.

For Inferno, this market experience was likely to echo its experience at AFM in November, when pre-sales on Brad Pitt and Richard Jenkins’ starrer “Cogan’s Trade,” drew a flurry of deals with international distribs before the Weinstein Co. snapped it up for the U.S. in January.

Domestic sales for “The Host” are being handled by UTA/CAA.

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