Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton are teaming up with Exclusive Media Group on a potential franchise based on the life of Julius Caesar.

The partners are eyeing a trilogy of films adapted from Conn Iggulden’s four-book The Emperor Series. Exclusive Media Group co-chairman Nigel Sinclair said the company might finance the first project in a split-rights deal with a US studio.

Meanwhile Exclusive co-chairman Chris Ball who heads Exclusive subsidiary Newmarket said the company had acquired domestic distribution rights to the stop-motion family adventure The Flying Machine and is eyeing a December release and possible Academy Awards run.

Ball was bullish about Newmarket in a meeting with reporters here in Cannes on Saturday morning (May 15), adding that the company aimed to distribute six to eight titles a year. He said the company would release a mix of appropriate titles from the Exclusive pipeline, as well as third party acquisitions. Newmarket’s 2010 slate kicked off with Creation and continues later in the year with Agora in May and Sundance premiere Hesher in October. Nu Image is selling international rights on Hesher and has renamed it Rebel.

Exclusive Film Distribution sales chief Alex Walton is selling The Flying Machine here, as well as horror title The Resident starring Hilary Swank, Let Me In, and ghost story The Woman In Black – all from subsidiary Hammer Films – and Peter Weir’s escape epic The Way Back.

North American rights are still available for The Resident, The Way Back and The Woman In Black, while Overture will release Let Me In this October in a 2,000-print run following what Sinclair said would be a $20-30m p&a spend.

The slate includes ghost story The Woman In Black and several other titles that Sinclair and co-chairman Guy East declined to discuss further at this stage.

Sinclair said Spitfire Films had been reconfigured as a documentary label, whose titles include Martin Scorsese’s in-the-works George Harrison documentary and the Formula One project.

Sinclair said he also hoped to announce shortly an all rights output deal for Newmarket in Canada and has launched Exclusive Labs, a transmedia division that will specialise in creating complementary products based on film properties.