‘Under’ goes over for TF1

Search for top-name helmer under way

Two days after TF1 Intl. announced that it is handling worldwide sales outside North America for the Morgan Freeman/Gene Hackman-starrer “Under Suspicion,” the French sales arm of TV network TF1 has closed a string of deals.

International sales managing director Perrine Teze has sold all Japanese rights to Pony Canyon, Italy went to Medusa, Frade Films has taken Spanish rights, Poland has been picked up by Best Films and Worldvision has Russia.

Teze said competition in Germany is fierce and that a deal will be inked within the next two days, leaving France and the U.K. as the only major Euro territories still to be closed.

Estimates are that TF1 Intl. will pre-sell the $20 million pic between $8 million-$9 million by the time the Cannes fest is finished. Freeman’s production shingle, Revelations Entertainment, which he set up with producer Lori McCreary in 1996, is handling North American sales.

“Under Suspicion” is a remake of Claude Miller’s “Garde a Vue,” about a chief inspector (Freeman) involved in an all-night interrogation of a lawyer (Hackman) who becomes the main suspect in a particularly nasty series of murders. Casting has still to be firmed on a female lead, which Romy Schneider played in the original.

McCreary said the search is now on for a top-name director, with shooting set to start in the Caribbean in February.