Fox rolls with Scorsese's Stones

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LONDON -- 20th Century Fox is rolling with the Stones after snapping up rights Tuesday for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand to the Martin Scorsese documentary on the Rolling Stones.

The studio picked up the trio of territories after sealing a deal with international sales and financier Fortissimo Films on the eve of this year's European Film Market in Berlin.

Tony Safford, senior vp and head of acquisitions and co-productions at Fox, and Michael J. Werner, co-chairman of international sales agent Fortissimo Films, announced the deal for the yet-to-be-titled project.

The documentary began filming in October at the Beacon Theatre in New York, where the Stones performed during their A Bigger Bang tour to an audience including President Clinton.

Scorsese is in postproduction, working with a team of editors to assemble the film, which also will feature historical and current behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Werner negotiated the deal with Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and with Safford.

Gianopulos said in a statement that working with Scorsese and the Stones was "a dream come true."

"Many years ago, in film class in college, I watched Robert De Niro saunter into a bar to the tune of 'Jumping Jack Flash' in a movie called 'Mean Streets' made by some guy named Martin Scorsese. It blew me away, and both Marty and the Stones have done that to me for decades since."

Financed by Steve Bing's Shangri-La Entertainment and longtime Stones tour promoter Michael Cohl's Concert Promotions International, the documentary is produced by Victoria Pearman, Cohl, Zane Weiner and Bing. Executive producers are band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, with Jane Rose as co-executive producer.

Paramount has U.S. rights to the project, with a late 2007 release planned. Fortissimo is handling international sales rights.
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