Goldwyn grabs Forman 'Ghosts'

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Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts," starring Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard as Spanish artist Francisco Goya, has been picked up for North American distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

The Saul Zaentz production, slated for a summer U.S. platform theatrical release, stars Bardem as a member of the clergy during the Spanish Inquisition who becomes obsessed with one of its targets, Goya's muse (Portman). The story follows their personal trials from the late 18th century through the tortured girl's release from prison after Napoleon's invasion of Spain.

"Saul is not only a friend, but a wonderful filmmaker," said Samuel Goldwyn Films CEO Samuel Goldwyn Jr., who was shown the picture by Zaentz several months ago and finalized the deal last week. " 'Ghosts' is a love story and a violent political story and a wonderful woman's story about a fascinating period in history and the effect of the Inquisition's lives as seen through the eyes of Goya."

The deal was negotiated by president Meyer Gottlieb and vp acquisitions Peter Goldwyn on behalf of Samuel Goldwyn Films and by Al Bendich on behalf of the Saul Zaentz Co.
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