‘Mammy’ rights to October

Huston to star in and direct comedy-drama

CANNES — October Films has acquired worldwide rights to the Irish comedy-drama “The Mammy,” which will star and be directed by Anjelica Huston.

“Mammy” will be produced by Jim Sheridan and Arthur Lappin through their Dublin-based Hell’s Kitchen outfit.

Pic, which is in pre-production, is scheduled to begin shooting this summer in Ireland from a script written by John Goldsmith and Brendan O’Carroll.

Set in Dublin in 1967, “Mammy” is the story of a feisty widow who, together with her seven children, deals with life’s adversities following the death of her husband.

The daughter of helmer John Huston, Anjelica Huston appeared in such films as “The Dead,” “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” before making her directing debut last year with “Bastard Out of Carolina,” a film adaptation of Dorothy Allison’s best-selling memoir of the same name.

“I am interested only in directing projects to which I have a very strong connection,” said Huston. “This script touched me in a very powerful way. I am very excited about this project and look forward to working with Jim, Arthur and October Films.”

Sheridan and Lappin are currently in talks to restructure their production deal with Universal Pictures. Under the new deal, Hell’s Kitchen will make a greater number of films each year, some of which will be for October, in which U has a 51% stake.

Sheridan’s credits include “The Boxer,” “In the Name of the Father” and “My Left Foot.” He also helmed “The Field” and co-wrote “Some Mother’s Son” with Terry George, who directed the film.

Sources said that the new deal between Hell’s Kitchen and Universal is likely to be hammered out in Cannes during a visit by top-level U brass, including U Pix chairman Casey Silver and chief operating officer Chris McGurk.

The deal for “Mammy” was negotiated by October co-presidents Scott Greenstein, Bingham Ray and John Schmidt. On behalf of Huston, it was negotiated by Toni Howard and Patty Detroit of ICM and her attorney David Nochinson.