Russell Crowe’s ‘Water Diviner’ Heading for Weinstein Co. in U.S.

The Weinstein Co. is in talks to acquire U.S. rights to Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, “The Water Diviner,” following a May 15 promotional presentation at the Cannes Film Festival.

Crowe screened 12 minutes of footage at the event at the Majestic Hotel. WME Global is selling the U.S. rights to the film at Cannes; David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment has been selling international territories.

Producers are Andrew Mason and Troy Lum for Hopscotch Features, and Keith Rodger for Crowe’s own Fear of God Films. RatPac Entertainment made one of its first moves into independent film by coming onboard with production funding; RatPac founders James Packer and Brett Ratner are exec producers.

Crowe portrays an Australian farmer who — four years after Turkey’s Battle of Gallipoli during World War I — travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in action. Olga Kurylenko plays the Turkish woman who owns the hotel in which he stays.

Crowe began working on the project in 2011 and made three trips to Turkey to scout locations and meet with Kurylenko to persuade her to take the part.

“The Water Diviner” has a Dec. 26 Australia release date, with other regions scheduled near the same window. The film had a 53-day shoot in Australia, Turkey and Laos.

News of the negotiations for U.S. rights was first reported by Deadline.com.

 

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