UK producer Stephen Woolley has been forced to refinance Neil Jordan's Renaissance epic Borgia after failing to agree a budget figure with US-based sales agent Myriad Pictures.
Woolley said he was still confident that shooting will go ahead later this year despite the rupture with Myriad on the eve of the planned shoot at Babelsberg Studios in Germany and Italy.
"We could not agree a financing figure so we agreed to go our separate ways," said Woolley. "We are now in the process of putting together alternative financing, which I am confident we can complete."
Stars Ewan McGregor and Christina Ricci are thought to remain committed to the project, which had been budgeted at around $55m. "Ewan loves the project and is totally behind it," said his agent Lindy King at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop. "We hope it is going to happen and are waiting to hear from Stephen Woolley."
The production is seen as a litmus test for large-scale film financing in a depressed European market. Despite the implosion of the European pay-TV sector, Myriad had been assembling the story of the notorious Renaissance family as a mammoth co-production between the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland and possibly France.
At Cannes, Twentieth Century Fox boarded Borgia taking North American rights - a deal which Woolley said still stands.