Summit Entertainment hasboarded Constantin Film's latest English-language production Pope Joan which will be directed by Volker Schloendorff withFranka Potente in the title role.
The film, based on Donna Cross'bestseller, is the story of Johanna von Ingehlheim who, according to legend,disguised herself as a man, and entered the highest ranks of the Roman clergybefore finally being elected Pope in 853.
Summit has handledConstantin's English-language titles for many years and is currently enjoyingenormous success in the early stages of international distribution of Tom Tykwer's Perfume. Shooting on Pope Joan is scheduled to begin in May 2007.
The legend of Pope Joan waspreviously filmed in 1972 with Michael Anderson directing Liv Ullman in thetitle role.
Summitwill present Pope Joan to buyersat AFM where it will also introduce another pick-up - The Great Buck Howard, a comedy produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman'sPlaytone and fully financed by Bristol Bay Productions.
Thefilm which is written and directed by Irish actor Sean McGinley stars ColinHanks as a young man from a good family who bewilders his parents (Tom Hanksplays his father) when he goes to work as the assistant to a magician (playedby John Malkovich). Emily Blunt and Griffin Dunne also star in the film whichshot this summer on a budget of about $15m.
Summit is also bringing tobuyers for the first time the previously announced In The Valley Of Elah, its high-prestige Iraq war project written anddirected by Paul Haggis and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron.
The drama, which is set tostart shooting in Dec, is based on a Playboy magazine article by Mark Boal about a career soldier(Jones) searching for his son who has mysteriously gone AWOL on returning fromIraq.
Summit CEO PatrickWachsberger is producing In The Valley Of Elah alongside Haggis, Laurence Becsey, Steve Samuels andDarlene Caamano Loquet, The movie is also being financed by Samuels' SamuelsMedia Capital and Loquet's Nala Films.
Warner Independent Picturesis handling domestic distribution on the film.
Other Summit titles at AFMinclude P2, which has completedprincipal photography, The Tourist starringHugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor and PS I Love You with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler which are bothcurrently shooting.
Summit is also enjoyingsuccess with its in-house production Step Up which has just crossed $20m in international grossesafter a domestic take of $65m through Buena Vista.