In a deal announced Monday, Sony Classics also acquired rights to Latin America, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Asia (excluding China, Japan, and Singapore), and Benelux from HanWay Films.
“The White Crow” inspired by the book “Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanaugh.” Fiennes directed from a script by David Hare. HanWay Films, which is handling worldwide sales, also co-financed the film together with BBC Films and Rogue Black.
Oleg Ivenko stars as Nureyev, alongside Adèle Exarchopoulos as Clara Saint, and Fiennes as Russian ballet coach Alexander Pushkin. The cast also includes dancer Sergei Polunin, Chulpan Khamatova, Olivier Rabourdin, Raphaël Personnaz, and Louis Hofmann.
Nureyev, a Russian native, sought asylum in France in 1961 at the height of the Cold War. The film offers insight into Nureyev’s defection, masterminded by the dancer’s great friend, a 21-year-old Parisian, Clara Saint.
Sony Pictures Classics said, “Ralph Fiennes has fully captured the times and early life of Rudolph Nureyev in the most thrilling way possible with the pulsing energy of the man himself. Also, ‘The White Crow’ is especially timely. From Nureyev’s rich life experience in Russia and Paris to his suspenseful defection to the West, we are immersed in an authentic story we’ve never seen before. This is one of those rare movies that crosses so many borders culturally as a satisfying entertainment. We look forward to bringing Ralph’s movie to the public.”
The movie was developed by BBC Films and Gabrielle Tana who also produces with Carolyn Marks Blackwood through Magnolia Mae Films together with Fiennes through Lonely Dragon Productions, and François Ivernel through the French branch of his company, Montebello Productions. Andrew Levitas produces and finances through his companies Metalwork Pictures and Rogue Black, respectively.
The deal was negotiated between Sony Pictures Classics and Gabrielle Stewart for HanWay Films. The news was first reported by Deadline.