Sony Pictures International Productions has come on board “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir,” Ken Scott’s comedy adventure starring Indian actor Dhanush, Bérénice Béjo (“The Artist”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”), Erin Moriarty (“Blood Father”) and Abel Jafri (“Timbuktu”).
The English-language feature, set up as a co-production between France, India and Belgium, will be distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing International in France and the U.K. next spring.
Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse, Stefano Cassetti have joined the cast of the film, which was penned by Romain Puértolas and Luc Bossi, who is also producing via his Paris-based company Brio Films. Vamonos Films, Little Red Car Films, Scope Pictures, M! Capital Ventures, Impact Films and Aurora Global Media Capital are also co-producing.
Adapted from Puértolas’ novel “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,” which came out in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages, the film follows a hustler from Mumbai who embarks on an extraordinary voyage across Europe in search of his estranged father.
During his trip, the hustler “finds love in a Swedish furniture store in Paris, danger with Somalian migrants in England, stardom on the dance floor in Rome, and adventure in a hot-air balloon across the Med, in what ultimately becomes an unexpected journey of self-discovery,” Sony Pictures International Productions said.
Laine Kline, executive VP at Sony Pictures International Productions, said: “Telling universal stories from around the world that connect with local audiences and beyond is Sony Pictures International Productions’s mission, and this co-production fits the bill perfectly.”
Bossi said the film had been an “out-of-the-ordinary production adventure” bringing together India, Europe and Hollywood with a cast and filmmakers representing 15 countries who all share the same goal: “Tell a universal story full of laughs and emotion.”
“The film is an alternatively hilarious and touching tale that mixes the innocence of an Indian Forrest Gump with incisive social commentary about the fate of refugees in Europe,” said Bossi.
TF1 Studio is handling international sales rights and is co-producing along with Aleph Motion Pictures.