Miracle Entertainment - the public LA-based company run by Tony Cataldo and Richard Abramson - is to fully finance and handle worldwide sales on The Italian, a drama to be directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and produced by Mike Marcus and Carroll Kemp.

The movie, which is the story of a man "with an extraordinary talent" who attempts to conceals his secret from his family, is to go into production in March 2001 in New York and is currently casting. The screenplay was written by Danny Fischer and Katherin Maciaszek.

Gyllenhaal also directed Paris Trout with Dennis Hopper, Ed Harris and Barbara Hershey, Losing Isaiah with Jessica Lange and Halle Berry and Waterland with Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke.

Marcus was president and COO at MGM Pictures from 1993-1997, while Kemp's credits include Johnny Depp's directorial debut The Brave.

Miracle's international sales arm run by Julie Savay-Ross is offering the film at London and MIFED. The deal was negotiated by Miracle Pictures co-president Neil Sacker on behalf of Miracle with attorney Adam Kaller of Behr, Abramson & Keller for Marcus, Kemp, Fischer and Maciaszek.

  • Miracle Pictures co-presidents Sacker and Gregg Hoffman recently hired Finley Glaize to the newly created position of vice president, development. He was previously director of development at Trilogy Entertainment Group and before that worked in development at American Zoetrope.