SPC picks up Buscemi-led Van Gogh redo

5:00 AM PST 03/16/2007 by Gregg Goldstein, AP

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Steve Buscemi's "Interview," a remake of slain director Theo Van Gogh's Dutch feature, has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.

Buscemi plays a burned-out political journalist who agrees to interview a popular B-actress (Sienna Miller), following her around for a day as they develop an unexpected relationship. A July domestic release is planned.

"Interview" is based on the 2003 feature by Van Gogh, who was killed in November 2004 in Amsterdam. Islamic radical Mohammed Bouyeri confessed to the slaying and was jailed for life. Van Gogh's killing followed a televised airing of his short film "Submission," which portrays violence against women in Islamic societies.

The film was announced as a trilogy of Van Gogh remakes, along with Stanley Tucci's "Blind Date," starring Patricia Clarkson, and Bob Balaban's "1-900." "Date" is now expected to begin shooting in May in Holland, but details about who ultimately will direct and star in "1-900" — which had some presales during last year's Festival de Cannes — are still up in the air.

"Interview" was produced by Gijs van de Westelaken's Amsterdam-based Column Film and Bruce Weiss' New York-based Ironworks Prods. The producers were Weiss and van de Westelaken, and the executive producer is Nick Stiliadis, CEO of Canada-based Cinemavault Releasing International.

Cinemavault also sold the film to Kinowelt for Germany, Diaphana for France, Fandango in Italy, Golem in Spain, CCV in Scandinavia, Rialto Film in Switzerland, A-Film for Benelux, Polyfilm for Austria, Solopan for Poland, Spentzos Films for Greece, Samfilms for Iceland, Karantanija for the former Yugoslavia, Front Row for the Middle East, CinemArt for the Czech Republic and Mars for Turkey.

SPC execs Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Dylan Leiner negotiated the domestic deal with Stiliadis and Weiss.
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