French pay TV service acquires Biblical pic

'Garden of Eden' cultivated by Canal +

ROME — International sales rights to Italian director Alessandro D’Alatri’s revisionist Biblical drama, “The Garden of Eden,” have been acquired by Le Studio Canal Plus, the Paris-based sales arm of the French pay TV service.

Budgeted at $3.8 million, the feature is produced by Marco Valsania for Medusa Film, which will distribute the October release in Italy. Currently in post-production, it recounts a period not documented in the Gospels: an 18-year stretch spanning the childhood, adolescence and early adulthood of Jesus Christ.

Shooting took place in the Moroccan desert with teen heartthrob Kim Rossi Stuart as the young Messiah. Scripted by Miro Silvera, the drama is expected to cause controversy with its portrait of Christ as a man, not a saint, and its chronicle of a period in Biblical history that, traditionally, has sparked theological debate.

Music for the film will be written by Italian singer Lorenzo Jovanotti, a popular star in Europe.

Canal Plus will retain French rights to the pic to be distributed through one of its affiliated companies.

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