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CANNES: BBC Films, Lionsgate U.K. Board Rupert Everett’s ‘The Happy Prince’

'Hannibal' star Hugh Dancy joins the cast

CANNES — BBC Films and Lionsgate U.K. have boarded Rupert Everett’s directorial debut “The Happy Prince,” and Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal,” “Black Hawk Down”) has joined the cast.

As well as penning the screenplay, Everett (“My Best Friend’s Wedding”) stars as Oscar Wilde. He is joined in the cast by Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), Emily Watson (“Breaking the Waves”) and Tom Wilkinson (“Michael Clayton”). Dancy will play Robbie Ross, Wilde’s best friend and the focus of the poet’s unrequited love.

BBC Films comes on board the Euros 10 million ($13.7 million) pic as co-producer and broadcasting partner, while Lionsgate U.K. has committed as co-producer and U.K. distributor. Completing the roster of co-producers are Colin Firth and Ged Doherty with their new company Raindog Films. Concorde
Filmverleih is the distributor in Germany. Beta Cinema is handling world sales.

With the addition of Euros 1.15 million ($1.57 million) of production funding from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), the film has entered the pre-production phase. Principal photography starts in October at the Bavaria Film Studios in Munich, and on locations in Italy, Belgium, France and the U.K.

The pic is the story of the last days in the life of Wilde – formerly a celebrity, and considered a genius and a national treasure, he is now in the midst of a public meltdown. Everyone tries to control him — his wife Constance, his friend Robbie, and Bosie, his lover. The result is that freedom eludes him.

The film is a Germany-U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy co-production led by Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Joerg Schulze, Philipp Kreuzer and Frank Evers, Philippe Carcassonne’s Cine-@ and Robert Fox Ltd., in collaboration with Bavaria Film Partners. The project is supported by the regional funds of Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg and FilmFernsehFonds Bayern in Germany.

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