Italy's Medusa is the first major territorial buyer to parent Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist from Summit Entertainment.
The distributor is in final negotiations to take Italian rights to the $60m film which is being produced by Polanski, Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa.
Polanski is currently scouting locations in eastern Europe for the film which will recreate London in the early 19th century for the Oscar winner's faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' literary classic. Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for his work on Polanski's The Pianist, is currently writing the screenplay for the film.
RAI Cinema's 01 Distribution had Italian rights to The Pianist.