Al Pacino, who tangoed to the best actor Oscar in Universal’s “Scent of a Woman,” is in final negotiations to co-star in Capella Films’ “Two Bits,” a Depression-era drama set to lense July 26, the company confirmed Monday.
Other casting will be announced shortly.
“Pacino has committed to the project,” said Capella Films’ CEO Ortwin Freyermuth, who added that company lawyers were drafting the final agreement to be signed shortly. “This is the kind of role you don’t recast at the last minute. We are proceeding on the basis of him being in this movie.”
Rick Nicita, Pacino’s agent at Creative Artists Agency, confirmed that the final details in his client’s deal were being ironed out.
Freyermuth added that the film has been presold in several European territories, and that three majors have joined the bidding to distribute the pic domestically. He expected a deal to be hammered out shortly.
James Foley will direct and Capella production prexy David Korda will exec produce the pic with Willi Baer of Universal-based Bregman/Baer Prods., which is also currently backing “Carlito’s Way.” Arthur Cohen will produce “Two Bits” and Larry Franco will line produce. The script is by Joseph Stefano, who also scripted “Psycho.”
Exex insisted that “Carlito’s,” which has taken some flak from the New York press lately, is “on schedule.”
Early this spring, Pacino did a reading of “Two Bits” for helmer Foley, who also directed the thesp to a supporting actor nomination in New Line’s “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Pacino then committed to the project with the caveat that his turn in “Carlito’s Way” be finished first.
The film, budgeted in what the company calls “the $ 20 million range,” chronicles a day in the life of a young boy in 1935 Philadelphia who wants his grandfather to give him the price of admission — two bits — to a movie theater. But what the film really shows, exex say, is the fatherless kid’s bond with his grandpa.
Capella has narrowed its choice down to two actresses to play the boy’s mother, with a decision due in about 10 days, and has looked at hundreds of newcomers to play the part.
Beverly Hills-based Capella Films has had a busy year so far. At Cannes, the company announced its film version of the popular 1940s radio show “The Shadow” toplining Alec Baldwin, and is also backing the Kim Basinger-Val Kilmer vehicle “The Real McCoy” under the Bregman/Baer Prods. joint venture with Universal. A new feature, “Exquisite Tenderness,” is set to roll soon, the company said.
USC film school grad Foley debuted as a helmer in 1984 with “Reckless,” starring Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah. He also directed Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in “At Close Range” in 1986.