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In today’s film news roundup, Jodie Foster is directing a Mona Lisa movie, Sony buys a sci-fi script for Jake Kasdan, Lionsgate signs a deal with Kristin Burr and “The Color Purple” is returning to theaters.

PROJECT LAUNCH

Jodie Foster has come on board to direct an untitled drama about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa with Los Angeles Media Fund fully financing.

LAMF has hired Bill Wheeler to write the screenplay, based on the book “The Day They Stole the Mona Lisa” by Seymour Reit. The robbery, which took place at the Louvre in Paris, was perpetrated by Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia, who believed that Leonardo da Vinci’s painting should have been displayed in Italy.

Peruggia kept the painting for two years and was caught when he attempted to sell it to the director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It was returned to the Louvre in 1914.

Foster’s directing credits include “Little Man Tate,” “Home for the Holidays,” “The Beaver” and “Money Monster.” She is also attached to both direct and star in an English-language remake of the Scandinavian thriller “Woman at War.”

Los Angeles Media Fund was launched nine years ago by principals Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman. Deadline first reported the news about Foster.

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Sony Pictures has set up Jennifer Harrington’s sci-fi comedy “It’s the End of Liz as We Know It” with Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar producing.

Details of the project are under wraps. Kasdan directed 2017’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and 2019’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” for Sony. Harrington recently worked on the Apple TV+ documentary “Dear…” as co-executive producer. She is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and law firm Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman.

Kasdan and Mar have recently signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television for through The Detective Agency. They are repped by WME and Sloss Law.

LIONSGATE DEAL

Lionsgate has signed a multiyear producing deal with former Disney executive Kristin Burr to develop features through her Burr! Productions.

Burr has set up the dark comedy “MILK” (as in Mother I’d Like to Kill) from “10 Cloverfield Lane” director Dan Trachtenberg. Patrick Aison has written the screenplay about a former assassin that must manage the pressures of being a new mom while avoiding her former co-workers who have been sent to kill her.

“Kristin will be a key pillar for us as we step up our activity in the live-action family space,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane. “She develops films in this arena that elevate the genre and are distinctive, fresh and authentic.”

Burr joined Disney in 1997 and left the studio in 2017 after working on “Mary Poppins Returns.” Lionsgate has also signed deals with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and their Point Grey banner; “John Wick” filmmaker Chad Stahelski; and “50/50” director Jonathan Levine.

‘PURPLE’ SCREENINGS

Fathom Events and TCM have set a Feb. 23 release for the 35th anniversary showing of Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple” at more than 600 U.S. locations.
The even has been scheduled to commemorate during Black History Month. It’s the first nationwide release of the film in more than three decades.
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Color Purple” received 11 Academy Award nominations including nods for Steven Spielberg for Best Picture and acting nominations for Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery.

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