Hurt to net ‘Blue Butterfly’

Cancer patient, Insectarium founder subject of pic

MONTREAL — William Hurt has the lead role in “Blue Butterfly,” the latest pic from seasoned Swiss-Canadian helmer Lea Pool (“Lost and Delirious,” “Set Me Free”).

The Galafilm Prods. pic, which began lensing in Costa Rica on Sunday, is based on a true story about Georges Brossard, the founder of the Montreal Insectarium, and a 10-year-old boy terminally ill with brain cancer.

Twelve years ago, the boy asked Brossard, who hosts the Discovery Channel series “Insectia,” to fulfill his last wish — to capture the rare Blue Morpho butterfly, only found in the jungles of Central America. The butterfly is said to have magical curative powers. They went to Central America, caught the butterfly and, soon after, the boy’s cancer went into remission.

Hurt plays renowned entomologist Alan Osborne, a fictionalized character based on Brossard.

The boy is played by 13-year-old Toronto thesp Marc Donato, whose credits include “Pay It Forward” and “The Sweet Hereafter.” His mother is played by Quebec actress Pascale Bussieres, who starred in “When Night is Falling” and Pool’s “Set Me Free.”

A Canada/U.K. co-production, “Blue Butterfly” is produced by Arnie Gelbart, Francine Allaire and Claude Bonin from Galafilm and Michael Haggiag from Britain’s Global Arts Prods. Director of photography is Pierre Mignot, who has lensed 10 Robert Altman pics and “The Sixth Day.” Visual effects are created by Montreal software entrepreneur Daniel Langlois’ Media Principia.

Production continues until May 3 in Costa Rica and then moves to Montreal for an additional month of lensing.

The Canadian distributor is Film Tonic.

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