Summit Entertainment has picked up international rights to RomanPolanski's next film, Oliver Twist, a faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic which has a budgetin the $60m range.
Meanwhile Summit has picked up selected key territories to sell onArtisan/Miramax co-production Havana Nights, the Dirty Dancing sequel, which was originally to behandled in all international territories by Miramax sister company Buena VistaInternational (BVI).
Summit will represent Japan, France and all of Asia among otherterritories per an agreement which Summit president and CEO Patrick Wachsbergerstruck with Amir Malin of Artisan, which will release the film domestically onFeb 13 next year, and Rick Sands of Miramax Films.
Oliver Twist is currently being written by Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscarfor his adaptation of The Pianist for Polanski, and produced by Polanski and his Pianist producers Alain Sarde and RobertBenmussa. It is the first time that a Sarde film is not being sold byStudioCanal in over a decade, and the first English-language film he will makeafter leaving Le Studio. Pathe is understood to have French rights to the film.
Wachsberger told ScreenDaily that several studios are vying for USdistribution rights to Oliver Twist which will be "very big" in the scale of its reproduction ofLondon in the early 19th century. Polanski is basing his receation of theteeming metropolis of old on the famous drawings of French artist Gustav Dorewho himself illustrated several Dickens novels.
Summit previously represented Polanski's The Ninth Gate which was backed by Artisan, with whichSummit has an ongoing sales relationship, although Artisan, recently acquiredby Lions Gate Entertainment, sold back the 5% stake it previously owned inSummit earlier this year.
Summit also handled Polanski's Bitter Moon in 1992 which was executive produced byBenmussa and co-produced by Sarde.
Oliver Twist and Havana Nights join a high octane MIFED slate at Summitincluding Wachsberger-produced Mr And Mrs Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Joliewhich is set to start shooting on Nov 7, Ladder 49 and Raising Helen from Beacon Pictures, Mandalay Pictures'The Jacket starringAdrien Brody which is scheduled to start principal photography on Jan 14, andIntermedia's gigantic historical epic Alexander which is currently in production.