Sony Pictures Classics has acquired Benjamin Millepied’s debut feature film “Carmen,” a modern-day reimagining of one of the world’s most celebrated operas that will be headlined by Jamie Dornan and Melissa Barrera, and produced by Dimitri Rassam (“Playmobil”).
SPC has acquired rights to the project for North America, Latin America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the CIS and the Middle East. TF1 Studio has come on board to handle the remaining territories and will be kicking off pre-sales at Cannes. The movie will start shooting in October in L.A.
Millepied has assembled a strong creative team, including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz (“Anna in the Tropics”) who is currently finalizing the shooting draft, and Oscar-nominated music composer Nicholas Britell (“Moonlight,” “Vice”) who will compose an original score.
“Carmen” will also feature new songs by Britell and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas.
Barrera will play the titular role of Carmen. Barrera is currently starring in Warners’ film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.” Dornan, who is about to star in John Patrick Shanley’s “Wild Mountain Thyme,” will co-star as Aidan.
“’Carmen’ is the opera of my childhood. Growing up, it was an ever-present part of my musical beginnings. It has inspired me greatly as an artist,” said Millepied, a former principal dancer from the New York City Ballet who choreographed Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”
Dimitri Rassam’s Chapter 2 is financing and producing “Carmen,” together with Mimi Valdès (“Hidden Figures”) and co-producers Marvelous Prods.
Barrera is repped by UTA, Cross Over Entertainment, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Dornan is repped by UTA, Troika and Sloane, Offer and Weber & Dern.
“For many years, I have been passionate about creating a film musical, and ‘Carmen’ presents an incredibly exciting opportunity for exploring dance and music onscreen,” Millepied said.