×
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

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content