Regarded as a barometer of the health of large-scale film financing in a depressed European market, Neil Jordan's epic Borgia appears to be finally coming together as a mammoth co-production between the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland and possibly France.
Co-producers and partners deep into talks include BBC Films for the UK and RAI Cinema for Italy. US-based international sales agent and financier Myriad Pictures is thought to be in talks with several French buyers including Pathe and Metropolitan. Jordan and producer Stephen Woolley are expected to bring in Irish tax funding,
Shooting on the just under $55m production - apparently reduced by approximately 10% from its original price-tag - is expected to start by late September. Stars Ewan McGregor and Christina Ricci are set, but the key role of Machiavelli is believed to be open, although John Malkovich is apparently being courted. French star Jean Reno is also believed to be in talks for another role.
Myriad is thought to be selling Scandinavian rights to Egmont and channelling the film through it output deal with Spain's Filmax.
Along with a deal with Twentieth Century Fox for North America, a pact with Babelsberg Studios in Germany was announced earlier at Cannes, although a German distributor is still expected to be appointed. In addition, Myriad is expected to provide bank financing through Comerica Entertainment Group.