Berlin 2013: Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender's 'Genius' Sells Around the World (Exclusive)

Colin Firth Michael Fassbender Split - H 2012
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Colin Firth Michael Fassbender Split - H 2012

The film recounts the real-life relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe and renowned editor Max Perkins.

BERLIN -- Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender's Genius -- based on A. Scott Berg's National Book Award-winning biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius -- is sparking avid interest among independent distributors.

FilmNation has sold the film in a raft of key foreign territories, including to The Weinstein Co. in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. 

There's no word on whether TWC will buy U.S. rights, but Harvey Weinstein's shop would be a natural fit for Genius, having released the Oscar best picture The King's Speech, for which Firth won the Oscar for best actor. TWC is one of the most aggressive players in the awards space, and Genius could well be a contender considering its pedigree.

Genius recounts the real-life relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth), who developed a tender, complex friendship that changed the lives of both men forever.

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CAA is arranging financing for Genius and is representing domestic rights. FilmNation began shopping the project to foreign buyers last fall and will continue sales at the European Film Market in Berlin, which got underway today.

Michael Grandage -- who recently served as the artistic director of London’s famed theatre the Donmar Warehouse -- will direct from an adapted script by John Logan and hopes to begin shooting in early 2014.

James Bierman is producing for the Michael Grandage Co. Bierman served as executive producer at Donmar and formed MGC with Grandange.

In addition to the deals for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, Genius has sold to Mars in France, Central Partnership in C.I.S., Revolutionary Releasing in Poland, Paradiso Film in Benelux, LEV Cinemas in Israel, Italia Film International in the Middle East, Mis Label Aps in Scandinavia, Elite Film AG in Switzerland, Sun Distribution Group in Mexico, Edko Film Ltd. in Hong Kong, Gaga in Japan, Shaw in Singapore, Dreamwest Pictures in South Korea, Studio Solutions Group in Taiwan and Ster Kinekor Entertainment in South Africa.

The sale to Telepool and Senator in Germany was previously announced.