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Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening to Star in Adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening are set to star in a movie adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” which has been added to the Cannes sales slate of Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur’s K5 Intl.

The film will be directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony in 2007 for “Spring Awakening” and was nominated for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” last year. It has been adapted by playwright Stephen Karam, who wrote Pulitzer Prize finalist “Sons of the Prophet.” The producers are Leslie Urdang (“Rabbit Hole”), actor-producer Tom Hulce (“Amadeus”) and Bob Salerno (“21 Grams,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin”).

Bening, who has been nominated for four Oscars, most recently appeared alongside Al Pacino in “Danny Collins.” Ronan’s latest credits include “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Sundance player “Brooklyn,” which Fox Searchlight picked up for the U.S.

Also in “The Seagull” are Corey Stoll, who was Golden Globe nominated for “House of Cards,” and newcomer Billy Howle, who was a standout in Richard Eyre’s Olivier Award-winning production of “Ghosts.” Costumer designer is Ann Roth, and production designer is Jane Musky, with Matthew Lloyd taking on d.p. duties. The film is shooting in upstate New York this summer.

K5 has seen a slew of recent titles on the festival circuit, including Kirsten Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard starrer “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” which was at Sundance and Berlin, and four titles at Tribeca: “Meadowland,” starring Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson; Christopher Walken and Amber Heard starrer “When I Live My Life Over Again”; “The Survivalist,” which received a special jury mention at Tribeca for its director Stephen Fingleton; and Matthew Broderick-Alice Eve starrer “Dirty Weekend.”

It’s also got “Born to Be Blue,” which is in post-production, starring Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker.

“It’s a collection of projects and partnerships that have seen us discover and support Oscar-winning documentary makers such as ‘Cutie and the Boxer’s’ Zachary Heinzerling, ‘Buck’ filmmaker Cindy Meehl, and now innovative filmmakers such as Marielle Heller (‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’) and Robert Budreau (‘Born to Be Blue’),” Simon said. “While we’re currently working on larger scale feature films — three of which are set to be announced in the coming weeks — our breakout titles such as ‘Meadowland,’ and the upcoming ‘Born to Be Blue,’ demonstrate that we’ve continued to forge new strategic alliances in the U.S. while strengthening our position in Europe.”

The company has nurtured long-term partnerships with directors such as Mira Nair, Neil LaBute and Andrew Dosunmu (“Mother of George”), as well as producers such as Peter Safran, Parts & Labour’s Jan Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, and Lydia Dean Pilcher. Footage of Safran’s latest project with actor and producer Armie Hammer, “Mine,” which sets the actor in a desert desperately trapped on a land mine, will be screening to buyers at the Cannes Market. K5’s partnership with Safran began with actioner “Vehicle 19,” starring Paul Walker.

The company’s other recent big action title, “Vice,” starring Bruce Willis, which K5 co-financed with Lionsgate and Grindstone, was shot last year.

“Rather than being hamstrung as a sales arm of a large commercial financer-distributor, K5 has full flexibility – both creatively and strategically,” Baur said. “When you see our slate, I think many buyers understand why it ends up being a K5 film. There’s a distinctive approach that we offer, which provides a real home for both auteurs and independent producers of commercial titles alike.”

WME and CAA, which helped package the film, are also handling domestic rights.

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