Lions Gate International will handle foreign rights on Cinerenta'sthriller Mr Ripley's Return, the latest addition to the Ripley canon that features anall-star cast including Barry Pepper, Alan Cumming, Claire Forlani, WillemDafoe and Tom Wilkinson.
Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley Underground, Roger Spottiswoode's picture is inpost-production and will be available for sales at AFM. Lions Gate is among apack of studios chasing domestic rights to the picture and Cinerenta isoverseeing negotiations.
Mr Ripley's Return stars Pepper as the infamous sociopath Ripley, who this timeconceals the death of a young artist in order to profit from the soaring valueof his works. In the midst of the scam Ripley falls under the spell of aParisian heiress played by Jacinda Barrett (The Human Stain).
"Mr. Ripley's Returnis an ideal project for the foreign market," Lions Gate Internationalco-president Nick Meyer said in a statement. "It has a sharp, intriguingscript, a director who knows how to thrill audiences and a top-notch cast."
Spottiswoode's credits include Tomorrow Never Dies and The 6th Day.
Meyer added that the deal strengthens the company's relationshipwith German producer-financier Cinerenta, with whom Lions Gate worked on the2003 crime drama Confidence and the upcoming Robin Williams thriller The Final Cut, which recently screened at Berlin andwas written and directed by first-timer Omar Naim.
Michael Ohoven, William Vince, Marco Mehlitz, Steve Ujlaki and Antoinede Clermont-Tonnerre serve as producers on Mr Ripley's Return, with Steve Christian taking executiveproducer duties.
The role ofRipley was first made famous by Matt Damon in Anthony Minghella's 1999 TheTalented Mr Ripley and was subsequently played by John Malkovich in Ripley's Game.