SBS snags pre-sales on ‘Passion’

Pic is English-lingo remake of Corneau's 'Love Crime'

Said Ben Said’s Paris-based production-sales outfit SBS Prods. has closed key pre-sales on Brian De Palma’s thriller “Passion,” starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.

Deals come as SBS advances towards production on “A Castle in Italy,” directed by and starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“Actresses,” “It’s Easier for a Camel”). SBS recently produced Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.”

Ascot Elite has acquired theatrical and DVD/VOD rights for Germany and Switzerland; Lumiere has taken Benelux while ARP will release “Passion” in France in early 2013, said Ben Said.

An English-language remake of Alain Corneau’s 2010 psychodrama “Love Crime,” which Ben Said also produced, about a battle to the death between a top corporate exec and her protege, “Passion” has just added German actress Karoline Herfurth (“The Reader”) to the cast. Herfurth plays the assistant to Rapace’s deputy, McAdams the CEO.

Screenplay is by De Palma, with additional dialogue by novelist Natalie Carter.

Co-produced by Alfred Huermer’s Integral Film in Germany, “Passion” begins lensing in Berlin on March 5 for 10 weeks.

SBS is splitting international sales with Wild Bunch, with Ben Said selling key territories such as U.S., Spain and Italy.

SBS’ “A Castle in the Sky” is co-written by Noemie Lvovsky and Agnes de Sacy, who wrote the SBS-produced “Cherchez Hortense,” with Kristin Scott Thomas.

Of semi-autobiographical inspiration, Ben Said said, dramedy “Castle” turns on a rich family forced to sell their castle in Italy. Pic stars Louis Garrel (“That Summer”) and Filippo Timi (“The American”).

ARP will release in France. “Castle” goes into production Feb. 27. Ben Said will introduce it to buyers at Berlin.

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