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Toronto: Helmer David Frankel on ‘One Chance’: It’s Like ‘Rocky’ With Arias

James Corden continued his slow but steady path to world domination Monday night at the festival premiere of “One Chance.” After conquering Britain with his sitcom “Gavin & Stacey,” plus London and Broadway in “One Man, Two Guvnors” (including a Tony win), Corden wowed the Toronto audience with his performance in “Chance” and with his comments and ad-libs at the preem.

“One Chance” came to Toronto below the radar, but will be heard from again: The Weinstein Co. opens the comedy-drama in December. The pic tells the true story of Paul Potts, a Welsh phone-salesman who overcame a series of tragic-comic setbacks as he pursued his lifelong goal of singing opera.

At the Variety Studio Tuesday, director David Frankel said it’s like “Rocky” but with arias. As with that Oscar-winning 1976 film, the theme is “Don’t give up your dream.”

The filmmaker’s father Max Frankel was executive editor of the New York Times but also an accomplished operatic tenor, so the director (“The Devil Wears Prada”) was immediately attracted to Justin Zackham’s script.

Frankel praised his cast, and colleagues like cinematographer Florian Ballhaus, editor Wendy Greene Bricmont and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein. Frankel said the first cut of the film was as tight and short as possible. And then, defying his nickname, Weinstein extended the running time by a few minutes by re-inserting some footage. “He was so supportive, he turned out to be Harvey Extenderhands,” Frankel deadpanned.

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