Cannes: Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland to Topline Paolo Virzì’s ‘The Leisure Seeker’

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland will embark on a twilight years road trip from Boston to Florida in Italian director Paolo Virzì’s “The Leisure Seeker.”

The venerable thesps will play a runaway couple on a last cross-country adventure in a vintage winnebago in Virzì’s English-language debut.

They have played a married couple before in 1990 in Philip Borsos-directed China-set saga “Bethune: The Making of a Hero.”

“Leisure Seeker” is based on the eponymous novel by Michael Zadoorian, billed as a sort of “Easy Rider” meets “The Notebook.”

Virzì’s “Like Crazy,” about two women who escape from a mental institution – one of whom played by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi – world preems Saturday in Directors’ Fortnight.

Virzì is one of a small but growing group of Italian directors able to consistently combine strong local box office pull and international appeal. Following the footsteps of Paolo Sorrentino, he is now looking to raise his international game.

His economic crisis murder mystery “Human Capital,” adapted from a book by U.S. author Stephen Amidon, was released Stateside by Film Movement after bowing in 2014 at Tribeca. Amidon is among scribes of “The Leisure Seeker” screenplay.

The “Seeker” screenplay was penned by Italy’s Francesca Archibugi (“Like Crazy”) and Francesco Piccolo (“Human Capital”) in collaboration with Amidon and Virzì.

Italy’s Fabrizio Donvito, Benedetto Habib, and Marco Cohen are producing “The Leisure Seeker” for Indiana Production, with Alessandro Mascheroni, Daniel Campos Pavoncelli, and Dov Mamann serving as Executive Producers. The film is being produced with Rai Cinema. Plans are for cameras to start rolling in July in the U.S.

David Grumbach and Mathieu Robinet will be co-producing for France’s BAC Films. The three companies are renewing their partnership after successfully teaming up on “Human Capital.”

BAC Films, which is currently wrapping up sales for “Like Crazy,” will handle international sales and distribute “Leisure Seeker” in France. “Seeker” sales are being launched in Cannes. CAA will co-represent North American rights.

 

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