Italy's leading producer and distributor, Medusa, islining up a selective slate of new productions and acquisitions, which includeDanny Boyle's Toronto-headed title, Millions, and Robert Altman's Paint.
Medusa vice-president Giampaolo Letta said the Fininvest-ownedcompany recently picked up local rights to Millions, which is sold by Pathe International.
The Rome-based outfit has also bought Italian distributionrights to Bruce Willis's $55m vehicle Hostage, which is currently in post, and New Line's TheMask 2.
Letta said that the film industry's global financialtroubles have meant that Medusa, like others, has had to trim its acquisitionsand be more selective.
"The market is difficult at the moment. There is lessmoney around everywhere, and there are almost no independent productions rightnow. Quality isn't always high, so we've had to be even moreselective than in the past," Letta told ScreenDaily.com
Other Medusa pre-acquisitions include Capitol Films' Paint, an ensemble comedy/thriller set in theback-stabbing world of the New York art scene, with Salma Hayek and JamesFranco, and Woody Allen's upcoming UK film, which is sold by Hanway Filmsand stars Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Emily Mortimer.
On the production front, Medusa is lining up ParlamiD'Amore, a new film from hit Italiandirector Gabriele Muccino, which is produced by Muccino's regularpartner, Fandango's Domenico Procacci. Muccino is currently writing thefilm with his wife Elena Maiori and his actor-writer brother Silvio.
Other projects include a new film by critically-acclaimeddirector Roberto Faenza, produced by Roberto Benigni's regular partner,Elda Ferri and adapted from Elena Ferrante's novel I Giorni dell'Abbandono. The Euros 5m film, about a married mother-of-twowhose husband suddenly leaves her, will start shooting this autumn in Turinwith Margherita Buy.
Medusa's production slate also includes popular FacingWindows director Ferzan Ozpetek'snext film, Cuore Sacro, a Euros5m drama about money and religion which is set in Naples and starts shooting atthe end of September; and Train De Vie director Radu Mihaileanu's upcoming film, Va, Vis etDeviens. Medusa is co-producing the filmwith Rome's Cattleya, while other producers include France'sElzevir Films, France 3 Cinema, K2, Oi Oi Oi Productions and Israel'sTransfax Film Productions.
Medusa is also producing and distributing a new comedy fromItaly's hit trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, which is entitled Tu LaConosci Claudia' (literally, DoYou Know Claudia'), as well as a Euros 2mfilm with hot Italian actor Stefano Accorsi from first-time director StefanoMordini, called Provincia Meccanica,and a Euros 2.5m coming-of-age drama by Giacomo Campiotti, named IlSentiero dei guerrieri.