Cannes: 'King's Speech' Producers Snag $12 Million 'Lion' Deal With Weinstein Co.

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman
Iain Canning and Emile Sherman
 Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Cannes -- The Weinstein Co. (TWC) has sealed a $12 million deal for worldwide distribution, excluding Australia and New Zealand, for Lion, reteaming the company with the U.K.'s See-Saw Films.

Adapted from the novel A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion is about a 5-year-old Indian boy who, after a wrong train takes him thousands of miles away from home, survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. He finds out about Google Earth 25 years later and sets out to find his family.

The screenplay is penned by Luke Davies and will be directed by Garth DavisLion will be produced by See-Saw Films in association with Sunstar Entertainment and Aquarius Films.

Producers are Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder with executive producers Andrew Fraser and Shahen Mekertichian.

David Glasser, Robert Walak, Dan Guando, Negeen Yazdi and Michal Steinberg negotiated on behalf of TWC. Craig Emanuel of Loeb and Loeb represented the deal on behalf of Cross City Sales and the producers.

The film is co-financed by Screen Australia. Production will begin in August.

UTA reps Davis and Davies.

See-Saw partnered with TWC on The King's Speech. They are currently in business together on the Michael Fassbender starrer Macbeth and Australia-set drama Tracks.

TWC's Harvey Weinstein said he and his team "were simply blown away by this emotional story" when they read the script.

Said Weinstein: "Coupled with the fact that this project gave us the opportunity to continue our relationship with See- Saw, we jumped at the chance to join the Lion team. Iain and Emile have this innate ability to make films that inspire and resonate with people. I look forward to sharing this fascinating and life-affirming story with audiences all over the world."

Sherman and Canning described Brierley's story as "one of the very rare truly unique and totally compelling stories that you dream of coming across as producers."

Said the pair: "We have been stunned by the response to the story, the script and our creative team, led by director Garth Davis. Having had such an extraordinary journey with TWC on The King's Speech, we know we are with a team that is passionate and adept at championing a film with the potential to captivate audiences across the world."
 

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