Sean Penn-starrer debuted at Cannes

The Weinstein Co. has picked up North American rights to Paolo Sorrentino’s Sean Penn starrer “This Must Be the Place” from producers Lucky Red, Indigo Film and Medusa Film.

TWC had been widely expected to pick up the Cannes fest selection, but the distrib didn’t indicate when it would release “This Must Be the Place.” It’s already set several potential awards contenders for release later this year — “My Week With Marilyn” on Nov. 4, “The Artist” on Nov. 23, “W.E.” on Dec. 9 and “Iron Lady” on Dec. 16 — so it may be more comfortable waiting until 2012 to open “Place.”

The Italian/French/Irish co-production, written by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello, tells the story of an aging glam rock star, played by Penn, on a journey of self-discovery as a Nazi hunter. Frances McDormand plays his wife.

It’s Sorrentino’s first English-lingo production.

The film is produced by Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima for Indigo Film, Andrea Occhipinti for Lucky Red and Medusa Film in co-production with ARP in France and Element Pictures in Ireland in association with Pathe Intl. and Italian leading banking group Banca Intesa along with the support of Eurimages and the Irish Film Board.

The deal was negotiated for TWC by chief operating officer David Glasser and senior VP of acquisitions and business affairs Michal Podell Steinberg and for the filmmakers by Rich Klubeck and Jim Meenaghan at United Talent Agency and attorney Iddo Arad, from Frankfurt Kurnit Klein and Selz.

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