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Pair there for ‘Vanity Fair’

Skeet, Faulk adaptation to be 7th version produced

USA Films label Gramercy Pictures and the U.K.-based Granada Film will team to co-produce a new film adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair.” Domestic distribution will go through Gramercy, with overseas territories handled by Good Machine Intl.

Adapted by Matthew Faulk and Mark Skeet, Granada’s Janette Day will produce the picture. Budgeted at $20 million, the pic is slated to begin production this fall in and around London.

Although six feature versions of “Vanity Fair” have been produced, this will be the first feature adaptation in more than 60 years. The narrative centers on Becky Sharp, a lower-class woman who relies on her wit and guile to make her way through 1820s London society.

“William Thackeray’s novel is wonderful and modern,” said Donna Gigliotti, USA Films’ president of production. “Margaret Mitchell used Becky Sharp as an inspiration for Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone With The Wind’ and the new screenplay is a very fine adaptation.”

The “Vanity Fair” history includes four silent film versions and three U.K. miniseries as well as the 1932 interpretation starring Myrna Loy and the 1935 “Becky Sharp,” which was the first full-Technicolor feature film.

Faulk and Skeet first teamed as writers of the 1986-1992 U.K. TV series “Boon.” Their script was brought to USA Films by Peter Kalmbach, VP acquisitions and co-productions.

The deal was negotiated by USA Films exec VP business affairs Avy Eschenasy with Sara Curran, Granada’s head of business affairs.

Current releases at USA Films include Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” and Mike Leigh’s “Topsy-Turvy,” which have a total of seven Oscar nominations between them.

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