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Toronto: Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Demian Bichir to Star in ‘Bel Canto’

Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe and Demian Bichir will star in the South American drama “Bel Canto” with Paul Weitz directing.

Weitz has adapted the screenplay with Anthony Weintraub (“Tekkonkinkreet”) from Ann Patchett’s best-seller of the same name.

Caroline Baron and Weintraub will produce the project through their company A-Line Pictures alongside Weitz and Andrew Miano through their production company Depth of Field. Bloom will start international sales at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. WME Global is selling the U.S. rights.

Moore will play a famous American soprano who travels to a military dictatorship in South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of a rich Japanese industrialist, portrayed by Watanabe. Bichir has been cast as a general who leads guerrillas taking over the industrialist’s mansion and demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades. A month-long standoff ensues in which hostages and captors must overcome their differences.

Bloom’s Alex Walton said, “I read the ‘Bel Canto’ novel many years ago and have always believed it would translate naturally to the big screen. The book has a large loyal global fan base which I am confident will be delighted to see our wonderful cast bring this story to life.”

Weitz directed “About a Boy” and “Grandma” and produced Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle.” Moore will next star in “Wonderstruck” from Todd Haynes, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” which Bloom is also selling.

Watanabe will next be seen in “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Bichir has just wrapped Ridley Scott’s “Aliens: Covenant.”

Moore is repped by CAA, United Agents and Management 360. Watanabe is repped by WME, Roar and K Dash. Weitz is repped by WME, and Bichir by CAA.

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