Fine Line Features has acquired all North American rights in all media to “Enchanted April” director Mike Newell’s next film, “An Awfully Big Adventure.”
The deal, which was initiated at the Cannes Film Festival, marks the fifth film picked up by Fine Line at the fest, following the acquisitions of “Fiorile, “”Naked,””Widow’s Peak” and “Dark Blood.”
“An Awfully Big Adventure,” which will be budgeted in the $ 3.5 million range , is slated to go before the cameras next summer.
Although Fine Line prexy Ira Deutchman would not disclose financial details of the acquisition, sources in the independent world said the price was “somewhere in the mid six figure range.”
The deal was made by Deutchman and Portman Entertainment chief executive Victor Glynn and producer Hilary Heath. It was Heath who developed “Adventure” for Portman and BBC Films. Executive producers of the film will be Glynn and BBC Films head Mark Shivas.
Deutchman said he bought the project because of Newell’s involvement and the script.
“I think Newell has emerged as one of the more reliable and more interesting directors right now,” Deutchman said Monday. “We’re a company that bets on directors more than any other aspect. Also, we liked the screenplay and knew that we would see it on the screen. When you’re in pre-buy business, you look for an insurance policy and you hope you see on the screen what you see in the screenplay.”
Based on the novel by Beryl Bainbridge, with a script by Charles Wood (“The Knack,””Help!”), the story is set in Liverpool in the 1950s and is about a 16 -year-old girl who gets a job with a local theater company and finds dark secrets from the past returning to haunt her as she teeters on the brink of adulthood.
The recent acquisitions at the Cannes fest add to an existing slate of films that are in various stages of completion. In August, the company will open Rob Weiss’ “Amongst Friends,” followed shortly by the release of “The Ballad of Little Jo.”
The first of the Cannes acquisitions to be released will be the Taviani Brothers’ “Fiorile,” which will hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles next Christmas, before widening out to more screens.
As for director Mike Leigh’s “Naked,” another Cannes pick-up, Deutchman said it will not be released until after the first of next year. The film will make the rounds of festivals this fall in order to start building momentum.