Fortitude International has acquired international sales rights to L Frank Baum adaptation Young Santa.

Sean McNamara, whose credits include Soul Surfer, will direct from a screenplay adapted by David Casci and Joel T Smith.

Gudrun Giddings and Christian Arnold-Beutel produce with Fortitude International partner Daniel Wagner of BiFrost Pictures. 

Production on the Santa Claus origin story is set for later this year and the producers are out to cast. Baum famously wrote children’s classic The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.

Fortitude International, launched by Nadine de Barros and producers Wagner and Robert Ogden Barnum, is in Cannes with a slate that includes The End Of The Tour.

The David Foster Wallace biopic will star Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired all English-speaking territories earlier this year. 

de Barros is also talking up the Barbra Streisand directing project and will announce further details in due course.

Fortitude’s war chest includes a partnership with Untitled Entertainment on a slate of five films, one of which will come from The Iceman director Ariel Vromen.