IEG marches to ‘Saints’ pic

Distrib to handle Prufrock thriller, 'Gangs' anticipated

Initial Entertainment Group has stepped in to take worldwide distribution rights for Prufrock Pictures’ “Desert Saints,” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Melora Walters (“Magnolia”). Meg Ryan and Nina Sadowsky are producing the pic with David Yudain’s Sagg Main Prods.

Budgeted at $4.5 million, the neo-feminist noir thriller concerns a seemingly vulnerable woman (Walters) who gains the confidence of an Ivy League-educated assassin (Sutherland) and uses her charms to entrap him.

This is the first pairing for IEG and Prufrock. Rich Greenberg makes his directorial debut from his own screenplay, which he co-wrote with Wally Nichols.

IEG is co-financing the pic with Sagg Main. Production is taking place in and around Los Angeles.

“We constantly seek new producing partners at Prufrock and are very pleased with our working relationship with (IEG CEO) Graham King and the team at Initial,” Sadowsky said. “We look forward to its continuation.”

King is exec producing the film with Splendid Film CEO Andreas Klein, Richard Treibick of Sagg Main and Michael Greenberg. Ed Cathell is co-producer as well as line producer.

Pic also stars Jamey Sheridan (“Cradle Will Rock”), Leslie Stefanson (“The General’s Daughter”) and Rachel Ticotin (“Total Recall”).

‘Gangs’ shoots in August

IEG’s “Gangs of New York,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, is scheduled to begin production in August, while the Steven Soderbergh-directed “Traffic,” starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, is now in production. The Jodie Foster-produced “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” is slated for production next month.

Sagg Main is a development and production company formed through a partnership between Yudain, industrialist Treibick and investment banker Arthur Altschul Jr.

Prufrock, formed by Ryan in 1995, has a first-look feature deal with Castle Rock Entertainment. Company is the exec producer of “The Wedding Planner,” with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. Later this year, Prufrock plans to go into production with “The Women,” written by Diane English and directed by Oliver Parker. Company’s first production, “Lost Souls” starring Winona Ryder, will be released by New Line Cinema this fall.