berlin film festival digest


August date for 'Desire'

BERLIN — Two-time Palme d'Or-winning Danish director Bille August is gearing up to shoot "Burden of Desire" and has assembled a cast including Gemma Arterton, who also will appear in "Quantum of Solace," the 22nd James Bond film. August's project, being touted to worldwide buyers at the European Film Market, also boasts Joshua Jackson and Wes Bentley in the film set against the backdrop of World War I.

Senator gets an A

BERLIN — Germany's Senator Entertainment is set to acquire a 25.1% stake in Alexander van Dulmen's A Company with an option to take majority control of the Berlin-based rights group. The deal links Senator and its French partner — production/sales outfit Wild Bunch — with A Company's Eastern European distribution network. Together, the three companies will be able to use their leverage to buy Pan-European rights and presell from Paris to Poland.

'Thunder' roars with Disney pickup

BERLIN — Walt Disney Motion Pictures Iberia has picked up the Spanish rights to "Captain Thunder," the most popular Spanish comic of all time. At its peak in the 1960s, "El Capitan Trueno," as it is known in Spain, sold more than 170,000 copies weekly. The comic book was first produced in red, white and black in 1956. The movie is in preproduction. Pau Vergara's Maltes Producciones is producing. The movie, with a budget of $30 million, already has sold to more than 53 countries including in Latin America, South Korea, Russia and the Middle East.

40 territories invest in 'Bank'

BERLIN — Arclight's "The Bank Job," a heist thriller starring Jason Statham, has been sold in more than 40 territories worldwide. The movie, directed by Roger Donaldson, tells the true story of a 1971 London bank robbery whose behind-the-scenes activities include murder, corruption and a sex scandal with a link to the royal family. The film already has been picked by Lionsgate for distribution in the U.S. and the U.K.

Cazale punches up Perez pic

BERLIN — Nicolas Cazale, France's entry in this year's Shooting Stars lineup, is set to play the lead in a biopic about Victor "Young" Perez, the 1920s boxing champ who died in the Holocaust. The movie will be directed by Steve Suissa and produced under his Les Films de l'Espoir banner. The screenplay is by Suissa and Stephane Cabel. Suissa, whose grandfather used to live in the same building as Perez in Tunisia, said the project is on standby until partners come on board to complete the €10 million ($14.5 million) budget. French producer-distributor ARP was attached to the project but dropped out. The movie will be shot in Paris and Tunis.

Edinburgh retros due for Moreau, Clarke

BERLIN — French cinema legend Jeanne Moreau and late New York filmmaker-actress Shirley Clarke will be the subjects of two special retrospectives at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, organizers said. The Moreau retrospective is a joint initiative between the EIFF and the British Film Institute and will aim to paint a picture of the multihyphenate. The event runs June 18-29.