Cinedea, a distributor-producer-talent agency, has acquired Italian rights to Michael Almereyda’s romantic adventure “Cymbeline,” starring Dakota Johnson, Ethan Hawke, Penn Badgley, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich and Anton Yelchin.
Repped by International Film Trust, the international sales arm of Michael Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures, “Cymbeline” world premieres Wednesday at Venice. The Italy deal adds to multiple major territories, including the U.K.’s Koch Media, Germany’s KSM, Swen Group (Latin America), Nashe Kino (CIS), Happinet (Japan), Transmission Films (Australia/New Zealand), HGC Entertainment (China) and Sookie Pictures (South Korea).
This version of “Cymbeline” — one of Shakespeare’s least-known plays — is set against an epic face-off between corrupt cops and a drug-dealing bikers’ gang in a corruption-sodden U.S. city. Pic reteams Hawke and Almereyda after 2000’s “Hamlet.”
“It is a remarkable Shakespeare adventure, an extraordinary text. Ethan Hawke was the first person to join on; he recognized the challenge and drew delight from it,” said Almereyda. “‘Cymbeline’ has wildness, energy, extremes of emotion — that’s what drew me and the actors. There are echoes of many of Shakespeare’s great plays, though it’s officially classified as a romance, not a tragedy. It has streaks of comedy.”
Movie centers on a young love story, its “emotional drama, and a sense of misdirected love and betrayal. We did our best to keep the story intimate, but it’s often played out in unexpected settings, alternately mundane and spectacular,” Almereyda added.
Anthony Katagas produced “Cymbeline” for Keep Your Head Prods., alongside Benaroya.