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Meryl Streep Pic ‘Florence’ Sells Worldwide for Pathe

LONDON — Pathe Intl. has closed a slew of sales on Stephen Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins,” starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, based on a script by Nicholas Martin.

Pathe will distribute the film in the U.K., France and Switzerland. Major sales closed at AFM included Australia (eOne), Germany (Constantin), Italy (Lucky Red), Japan (Gaga), Benelux (Paradiso), and Scandinavia (Svensk).

European sales also include Czech Republic/Slovakia (AQS), Eastern Europe (Ablo), Greece (Feelgood), and Poland (Monolith).

Other sales include Hong Kong (Sun Dream), Israel (Shani), Middle East (Gulf Film), South Africa (M-Net), and Turkey (Fabula).

Pathe is in negotiation on 13 other territories and is talking to several potential U.S. buyers.

The film tells the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Streep), the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great opera singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful.

Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield (Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.

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The film is scheduled to begin principal photography in May 2015.

The pic will be produced by Michael Kuhn (“The Duchess”) and Tracey Seaward (“The Queen,” “Philomena”) and executive produced by Cameron McCracken (Pathe) and Christine Langan (BBC).

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