F&ME takes an 'Ugly' turn

First of two movies under William Morris Endeavor deal

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CANNES -- Things are getting "Ugly" at Film & Music Entertainment.

Dutch director Martin Koolhoven's "The Ugly" is the first in a pair of movies to emerge through deals brokered for the U.K.-based finance and production house via its pact with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

The uberagency has brokered a deal uniting Mike Downey and Sam Taylor's F&ME and Els Vandevorst's Amsterdam-based Isabella Films for a brace of films to be made during the next two years.

"Ugly," Koolhoven's lighthearted take on the Spaghetti Western genre co-written by the director and Robert Fusco, begins shooting in the spring. The script revolves around a gang of misfit cowboys, led by brothers Red and Bobby, who accidentally steal a side-show freak -- the "ugly" of the title -- and begin showing her around the Wild West for money.

Vandevorst, Downey and Taylor are setting up the project as a Netherlands-U.K.-Spain co-production with a budget of about $6 million.

Fusco is repped by WME; the project was brought to F&ME and Isabella by WME's Adam Novak.

The deal was brokered by WME's Ramses Ishak, Sara Bottfeld and Downey.

F&ME, Netherlands-based Bos Bros. and Isabella also have joined forces on Vincent Bal's long-gestating project "The Zig Zag Kid," which will shoot next year in France.

Based on the novel by best-selling Israeli author David Grossman, the film centers on Nono, a boy about to celebrate his bar mitzvah who teams with a crook to go on a crime spree. His father just happens to be a police inspector.

Casting is under way on both projects.
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