Italo auteur Matteo Garrone (“Gomorra”) has added Toby Jones, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Stacey Martin (“Nymphomaniac”) and Bebe Cave (“Great Expectations”) to previously announced key cast Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel of his English-language fantasy/horror “The Tale of Tales,” which starts shooting in Sicily today.
Based on fairy tale collection “The Tale of Tales” by 17th century Italian author Giambattista Basile, Garrone’s ambitious English-language debut is also kicking off world sales in Cannes where the pic is being sold by HanWay.
“Tale of Tales” joins recent HanWay acquisitions including “High-Rise” by Ben Wheatley, Julian Jarrold’s “Girls’ Night Out” and Lone Scherfig’s “Posh.”
Garrone co-wrote the story and screenplay with Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti and Massimo Gaudioso. It’s been adapted into English by Dante scholar and translator Virginia Jewiss.
Jeremy Thomas is the artistic producer of Garrone’s gothic “Tales,” which, like “Gomorra,” will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family.
In one tale Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband’s life. In another, Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters. “When I read the stories I immediately felt they were something familiar,” Garrone said. “I really connected with their spirit, with their irony, and also their dark aspects.”
The “Tale of Tales” cinematographer is David Cronenberg’s regular d.p. Peter Suschitzky. Alexandre Desplat is composing the score. Dimitri Capuani, a longtime assistant to set-designer Dante Ferretti, is the pic’s art director.
Having parted ways with his former producer Domenico Procacci, Garrone is self-producing the $14.5 million film himself through his Archimede Film shingle with Gaul’s Jean Labadie’s Le Pact on board as co-producer. Financing is from RAI Cinema, which will distribute in Italy, and from Eurimages.