Al Pacino will play the lead in King Lear and reunite with writer-director Michael Radford in their second Shakespeare collaboration following The Merchant of Venice.

Arclight Films has taken international rights to the project, based on Radford’s adaptation about an aging king who sparks a tragic power feud when he offers to split his kingdom between his three daughters.

Radford plans to shoot entirely in the UK in spring 2011. Barry Navidi, who teamed with Pacino on The Merchant Of Venice and the upcoming Wilde Salome, will produce. ICM represents Pacino and North American rights.

The film is fully financed with private equity, UK tax rebate (Coutts Bank), and is being put together in association with Belgium/E-Motion fund.

“I am really excited that Al and I are going to do another Shakespeare film together, and I’m hoping the audience will be excited and moved by our take on this great work,” Radford said. “Lear is tailor-made for Al Pacino. Who wouldn’t want to see one of the world’s greatest movie actors in one of the greatest roles ever written?”

“We are thrilled to be involved with these film-makers and the remarkable creative talent behind The Merchant Of Venice,” Arclight managing director Gary Hamilton. “Al Pacino is one of the biggest names in our industry worldwide and we think this film will attract the major distributors here at Cannes.