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Weinstein Co. buys Ralph Fiennes’ ‘Coriolanus’

Berlin competition pic stars Gerard Butler

BERLIN — The Weinstein Co. has snapped up U.S. rights to Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut, “Coriolanus,” in Berlin.

Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave and James Nesbitt star in the $10 million pic, which is playing in Competition at the Berlinale on Monday.

In addition, TWC has acquired pan-Asian pay TV rights to “Coriolanus,” which the outfit was circling before the European Film Market kicked off on Thursday.

Icon Entertainment Intl. is handling worldwide sales rights.

TWC is planning a U.S. release this year.

Story is a contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s play about the Roman warrior.

Deal was negotiated for Icon by Hugo Grumbar, Estelle Overs and for TWC by COO David Glasser, senior VP of biz affairs Michal Steinberg, senior VP of production Kelly Carmichael and VP of acquisitions Daniel Guando.

Other deals for “Coriolanus” include the U.K. (Lionsgate), KSM (Germany), Spain (Savor), India (Tanweer Group), Scandinavia (Star Media), Turkey (TMC), Czech Republic (AQS), Portugal (Lusomundo), Greece (Odeon), Bulgaria (Tandem), former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), Iceland (Sena), Middle East (Prime Pictures), Israel (Independent), Latin America (California), Thailand (Sahamongkol), China (E-Stars), Taiwan (SSG) and Hong Kong (Golden Scene).

Fiennes also produced the pic with Synchronistic’s Colin Vaines, Artemis Films’ Julia Taylor-Stanley and Magnolia Mae Films’ Gabrielle Tana.

Speaking about his first effort behind the camera, Fiennes told Daily Variety : “It was extremely challenging, as you would expect, to be directing and also be in the film, but I was well supported.

“I think the film carries all kinds of social and political resonances and confronts everyone with the dysfunction of society. It is a confrontational piece from Shakespeare that demands an audience reflects on the power play of politics and armies and loyalties.”