Bleecker Street has acquired the North American rights to “The Return” for release in 2024, with filming set to begin this spring.
“The English Patient” fans will soon be wishing that Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche will meet on screen for the first time in 25 years. The couple will star in Homer’s ancient classic Odyssey, ‘The Return’ directed by Uberto Pasolini. Bleecker Street has acquired the rights to the film for a planned 2024 release.
It was “The Comeback”. first announced in April with Fiennes and Binoche attached, but details have not been revealed until now. Bleecker Street has picked up the film’s North American theatrical rights at the European Film Market (EFM) currently taking place in Berlin. HanWay Films maintains the international rights and has already closed deals in several areas.
Production on “The Return” will begin this spring in Greece, with filming on Corfu and the Peloponnese before continuing in Italy.
The film follows the events at the end of “The Odyssey” and stars Fiennes as Odysseus, who has finally returned home to Ithaca after 20 years away. Haggard, unrecognizable and scarred by his experiences in the Trojan War, staggers home. Binoche plays his wife Penelope, who has become a prisoner in her own home after countless suitors chase her to become king. Charlie Plummer will also star in “The Return” as Odysseus and Penelope’s son Telemachus, who faces death at the hands of suitors who see him as an obstacle. Odysseus is forced to face his past to rediscover the strength he needs to save his family and regain his lost love.
Pasolini (“Nowhere Special”) co-wrote the film with Edward Bond (“Blow-Up,” “Walkabout”) and John Collee (“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” “Hotel Mumbai”).
The deal is one of the first major North American deals to originate from EFM. Lionsgate has acquired the rights to a new Guy Ritchie film: “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” starring Henry Cavill. And Well Go USA has acquired a new action film starring Jackie Chan, “Ride On.”
Binoche won an Oscar in 1997 for her work in The English Patient. Fiennes was also nominated for Best Actor. Binoche’s win was one of nine Academy Awards for Best Picture.
“The Return” is an Italy-Greece-UK-France co-production produced by Pasolini and James Clayton for Red Wave Films, Roberto Sessa for Picomedia (Asacha Media Group) and Rai Cinema, Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovravkis for Heretic and Stéphane. Moatti, Romain Le Grand, Vivien Aslanian and Marco Pacchioni from Kabo Films (Asacha Media Group) and Marvelous Production. Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson will executive produce Bleecker Street. The deal was negotiated by Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy of Bleecker Street with HanWay Films.
Bleecker Street also recently picked up “The Starling Girl” from Sundance, which played in the US Dramatic competition. And next in 2023, the indie distributor will release the biopic “Golda” with Helen Mirren, another biopic “Emily” with Emma Mackey, the action comedy “Mafia Mamma” by Catherine Hardicke, “What Happens Later” directed by and starring Meg Ryan, and “The Tutor” with Richard E. Grant and Julie Delpy.
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