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AFM 2012: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer to Star in 'Elsa & Fred' Remake

Shirley MacLaine Christopher Plummer - H 2012
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Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer

"Il Postino" Director Michael Radford will helm the remake of the Spanish-Argentine hit.

SANTA MONICA -- Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer have signed on to star in the romantic comedy Elsa & Fred, a remake of the hit Spanish-Argentine film, which Michael Radford (Il Postino) will direct.

MacLaine plays a lively retiree in New Orleans who gets a at first unwanted neighbour when straight-laced widower Fred (Plummer) moves into her apartment building.

The original 2005 film was set in Madrid. Written and directed by Marcos Carnevale, it featured actors China Zorrilla and Manuel Alexandre and was a huge box office hit in Argentina. Carnevale brought the project to AFM last year to find backers for the remake, which he did in the form of Cuatro Plus Films, Defiant Pictures, Rio Negro Producciones and Media House Capital, all of which are financing the picture.

Radford penned the screenplay for the remake with Il Postino writing partner Anna Pavignano. Oscar winner Edward Saxon (The Silence of the Lambs) will produce with Nicolas Veinberg, Matthias Ehrenberg, Ricardo Kleinbaum and Jose Levy. The film will shoot in New Orleans and Rome, with principal photography set to begin Dec.3.

"I am thrilled to be working with two of the greatest screen actors in the history of cinema," Radford said in a statement. "My aim is to do justice to this great movie and bring it to the wider public it deserves."

MacLaine, who next appears in Ben Stiller-directed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and joined the cast of British TV series Downton Abbey, is repped by ICM Partners. Plummer is repped by ICM Partners and The Pitt Group.