Kristin Scott Thomas joins cast to play Maggie Smith’s daughter.

Cohen Media Group has acquired all US and Canadian rights to My Old Lady.

Kristin Scott Thomas has joined Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Dominique Pinon have joined the cast of Israel Horovitz’s feature debut.

The project starts shooting in Paris on Sept 26. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.

The North American deal was negotiated by Cohen Media Group Executive VP Gary Rubin and Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Steven Farneth on behalf of the producers.

The story is about a New Yorker (Kline) who goes to sell a flat he inherited from his estranged father. He discovers a refined older woman (Smith) living there with her daughter (Scott Thomas).

Producers are Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball), Gary Foster (Sleepless in Seattle) Nitsa Benchetrit and David Barrot.

Co-producing on the ground in Paris are David Atrakchi, Boris Mendza and Gael Cabouat for Fulldawa Films. Charles Cohen and Daniel Battsek will executive produce for CMG while BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer and Christine Langan will executive produce for BBC Films. 

Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films, said: “The sublime, achingly funny and moving quality of Israel’s writing has attracted an amazing cast to My Old Lady. We are really excited at the prospect of this exceptional collaboration; Israel has hit on something insightful and profound here and it looks set to be a unique, entertaining and classic film. BBC Films is proud to be backing it.” 

Israel Horovitz, best known as a playwright, said, “Sidney Lumet once told me that the secret to great directing is to cast great actors and then stay out of their way. I’ve gotten the first part right: Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas. And Paris, too. Dream team!” 

CMG President Daniel Battsek added, “This acquisition further cements Cohen Media Group as a significant player in U.S. Independent film distribution and production. We are excited to be collaborating with these filmmakers & BBC Films to bring this emotional and entertaining film to U.S. audiences.”