Los Angeles-based sales house Intermedia has picked up world sales rights on Suriyothai, the historical epic, which is the largest film ever to come out of Thailand.

Directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol and originally presented in a three hour version at the Pusan festival in November 2001, the film was subsequently re-cut by Francis Ford Coppola, a film-school friend of the prince.

"It is a fabulously crafted piece of work with the look of a very large budget film," said Michael Dragotto, Intermedia president of world sales. "We have been tracking the film since it first opened in Thailand, where it has gone on to become the largest grosser in Thai history."

Coppola, who added new scenes and voice-over commentary, subsequently took the new version to the San Sebastian film festival in September. There it was picked up for the US by Sony Pictures Classics. Coppola, who assumed an executive producer credit and sales rights, is now finalising an international version due to come in at just over two-hours duration.

The film, now titled The Legend Of Suriyothai, has had an involved sales history that matches its complex story. Originally handled by Thai producer and seller GMT Entertainment, Coppola briefly assigned sales duties to Canada's Cinemavault Releasing. Intermedia picked up the rights on the eve of the market and has already begun closing deals.

Intermedia confirmed that it is in early negotiations to handle Prince Chatri's new project which is aimed at an early 2004 release, to coincide with the Queen of Thailand's 72nd birthday.