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Meryl Streep’s ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Bought by Paramount for U.S.

Paramount has acquired U.S. rights to biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins,” starring Meryl Streep.

Stephen Frears directed from a script written by Nicholas Martin with Streep portraying the heiress Florence Foster Jenkins, who became an opera singer best known for her bad singing skills. Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Nina Arianda and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

Grant portrays Jenkins’  manager, an aristocratic English actor who’s was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. He faced his greatest challenge when she decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944.

Paramount did not indicate when it would release the film, which began production in May in London.

Pathe, which is selling foreign rights at the Toronto Film Festival and showed a promo reel to buyers, will distribute in the U.K. and France. The company was originally asking for roughly $10 million for buyers. Paramount did not say how much it had paid for the rights.

The footage that is being shown was described as “quirky” and “heart-warming,” with some buyers noting it should appeal to older audiences.

The film is a Pathe and BBC Films presentation with the participation of Canal Plus and Cine Plus of a Qwerty Films Production.

The film is produced by Michael Kuhn for Qwerty Films and by Tracey Seaward and executive produced by Pathe’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan and Qwerty’s Malcolm Ritchie.

Muriel Sauzay of Pathe U.K. negotiated the deal on behalf of Pathe. The studio’s negotiating team was lead by Eben Davidson and David Miercort.

Brent Lang contributed to this report.

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