Mandate, Zaillian to produce ‘Dinner’

Biopic set for 'Fantasy' actor Herve Villechaize

Mandate Pictures and Steve Zaillian are teaming up to produce the biopic “My Dinner With Herve” through their co-venture Film Rites, which has a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Former journalist Sacha Gervasi, who will write and direct the film, conducted the last interview with French actor Herve Villechaize — Tattoo on the TV series “Fantasy Island” — days before the actor committed suicide.

“Steve read the script as a short 10 years ago and always believed it would make a compelling feature,” Gervasi said. “Herve wasn’t just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I’ve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world.”

“My Dinner With Herve” will be produced by Zaillian and executive produced by Mandate’s prexy Nathan Kahane. Film RitesGarrett Basch and Mandate’s Tendo Nagenda will also serve in some producing capacity.

Mandate Intl. will handle foreign sales on the film.

Film marks the first collaboration between Zaillian and Gervasi, who both have penned screenplays for Steven Spielberg — Gervasi wrote “The Terminal,” while Zaillian adapted “Schindler’s List.”

Gervasi made his directing debut with the music documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” which bowed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Zaillian, who most recently wrote “American Gangster,” launched Film Rites with Mandate last year to produce modestly budgeted, character-driven films. Projects on their slate include the drama “Close, Far Away” and the untitled Alexandra Pelosi project inspired by her HBO documentary “Journeys With George.”

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