Keira Knightley’s ‘Begin Again’ Acquired for China Release

In its first major transaction, Ivanhoe Pictures is teaming with Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. to acquire Chinese theatrical and platform rights for musical comedy “Begin Again,” starring Keira Knightley as an undiscovered singer and Mark Ruffalo as a producer.

The deal comes nine months after the movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

It’s the first acquisition for Ivanhoe, which launched at Toronto on the same day that the Weinstein Co. acquired U.S. rights to the movie, then called “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” for $7 million.

The film is slated for theatrical debuts across major North American and European territories later this summer.

Ivanhoe Pictures was formed to finance and produce film and TV projects with global audience appeal, particularly in China, India, Korea and Japan. It’s also in development on Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” and has launched four-year multipicture co-financing deal with Fox International Productions for local-language films in five markets across Asia.

Ivanhoe is headed by financier Robert Friedland, producer John Penotti and Beijing-based media executive Ray Chen.

Beijing Galloping Horse has invested in “The Karate Kid,” “Reign of Assassins,” “Eternal Moment,” “Guns and Roses” and John Woo’s “The Crossing.”

The deal was negotiated by Ronan Wong for Beijing Galloping Horse and Brian Kornreich for Ivanhoe Pictures and Alex Walton on behalf of Exclusive.

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