×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bickford, Del Toro set ‘Light’

Love story continues long-term partnership

SAN SEBASTIAN — Benicio Del Toro and U.S. producer Laura Bickford, partners on “Traffic” and “Che,” are teaming on “How the Light Gets In,” a contemporary love story set at four hotels in New York, London, Paris and Berlin.

Musician-novelist-screenwriter James Greer, who penned “Cleo” for Steven Soderbergh, has finished a screenplay, Bickford said at Spain’s San Sebastian Festival.

“How the Light Gets In” — a title taken from a Leonard Cohen song — is set up at Laura Bickford Prods. Del Toro will play a Chilean novelist living in Paris who falls in love. Bickford and Del Toro are now approaching directors.

“Benicio and I have a long creative partnership. We started developing ‘Che’ before ‘Traffic.’ I really wanted to develop something where he could be funny and romantic,” Bickford explained just before the European premiere of “Arbitrage,” which she produced.

Along with Del Toro, Bickford already has an adaptation of Jane Heller’s novel, “An Ex to Grind,” set up at 20th Century Fox with Del Toro and Cameron Diaz to star in the romantic comedy. Jeremy Garelick (“The Break-Up”) penned the screenplay.

Bickford also exec produced Del Toro’s second short as a director, “El Yuma.” Starring Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”) as a film student enjoying a drunken night on the town, it opens omnibus feature “7 Days in Havana,” which screens Monday at San Sebastian.

Multiple other movies are in development. Among them, Brett Easton Ellis is writing an English-language remake of Brazilian thriller “O Invasor” (The Trespasser). Bickford is also working on a project with Mexico’s Gerardo Naranjo (“Miss Bala”).

Bickford looks to make “director and actor-driven quality mainstream movies,” she said at San Sebastian. “There’s a new crop of directors that I’m really interested in.”

She rarely bucks a challenge. “Che” took 10 years from inception to screen.

“Arbitrage” was director Nicholas Jarecki’s first fiction feature. But its star, Richard Gere, liked Jarecki’s script, and Bickford brought to the table cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (“Carlos”), composer Cliff Martinez (“Traffic,” “Drive”) and editor Douglas Crise (“Traffic,” “Babel”).

Bowing in the U.S. Sept. 14 in theatrical and VOD, “Arbitrage” was the widest release ever for a day-and-date film. It also took the biggest-ever opening weekend B.O. gross for a day-and-date film: $2 million off 197 screens.

Results “prove there are people in the U.S. who are starved for adult movies that have a little meat on the bones,” Bickford said.

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content