CANNES — Oliver Parker is set to direct “The Fancy” for newly restructured Renaissance Films, with Barnaby Thompson producing.
The project, about a bare-knuckle boxing champion in 18th century England, is part of the sales slate unveiled by Renaissance at Cannes.
The company is also pre-selling Neil LaBute’s “Vapor,” Roger Michell’s “The Mother” and Hettie Macdonald’s “Bad Blood.”
It is hoping soon to attach a director to “Los Alamos,” and is still developing Terry Gilliam’s “Good Omens.”
The company has set aside a revolving $2.2 million development and packaging fund to attract projects from outside producers following the announcement that founder Stephen Evans is leaving to set up his own production shingle.
Co-managing director Angus Finney, who is taking sole charge of Renaissance, is pulling the company out of the production business, to focus instead on financing, sales and development.
Evans has an option to produce “Bad Blood,” adapted by actress Emily Mortimer from Lorna Sage’s autobiographical account of her tough childhood. John Hurt is attached to star.
“The Mother,” scripted by Hanif Kureishi, is a provocative $2.5 million drama about a 65-year-old widow who falls in love with a man half her age. Anne Reed (“Liam”) will play the lead. BBC Films is fully financing the pic, produced by Kevin Loader. Shooting is set for the summer.
“Vapor” is a skewed New York romance that LaBute is developing with producer Gail Mutrux.
Renaissance has inked further sales on completed pics “The Reckoning,” directed by Paul McGuigan, and “The Safety of Objects” by Rose Troche.
Both movies have been taken by Prooptiki in Greece, Maywin in Russia, CCV in Scandinavia and Fu Works/Cinelibre in Benelux.
Paramount, which already has “The Reckoning” in North America, Japan, Latin America, Australia and South Africa, has now bought the film for the Middle East.
Maverick has taken “Safety of Objects” in Australia, and Nikkatsu has picked it up for Japan.
Meanwhile, Renaissance’s U.K. output deal with Entertainment Film Distributors will lapse in June.