The Weinstein Company (TWC) has snapped up US rights to the upcoming French-language biopic Yves Saint Laurent.

Jalil Lespert will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Marrie-Pierre Huster.

Pierre Niney [pictured] will star as the iconic fashion designer alongside Guillaume Gallienne as Saint Laurent’s former lover and fashion house co-founder Pierre Berge. Wy Productions’ Wassim Béji is producing the project.

The story charts Saint Laurent’s explosive entry into the fashion world as an unknown Christian Dior designer to his rise to the top of one of the world’s most renowned fashion houses.

COO David Glasser and Michal Steinberg negotiated the deal in Los Angeles for The Weinstein Company with Lionel Uzan at SND Groupe M6 and Nigel Pearson at Loeb & Loeb on behalf of the film-makers.

SND previously closed sales with eOne for the UK, Canada and Australia and AB Svensk for Scandinavia, Top Film Distribution for Russia and the CIS, Lusomundo for Portugal, ITI Cinema for Poland, Italia Films for the Middle East, Square One for Germany and Austria, AQS for the Czech Republic, Pathe for Switzerland and Mediamax for Turkey.

Bertrand Bonello is preparing to shoot rival project Saint Laurent starring Gaspard Ulliel and Jeremie Renier and produced by Mandarin Cinema.