Berlin: Sony Pictures Classics Takes Rupert Everett's 'The Happy Prince'

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'The Happy Prince'

SPC will distribute the drama, about Oscar Wilde's final years, in North America and Latin America.

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up rights to Rupert Everett's directorial debut The Happy Prince for North America and Latin America.

The film is screening at the Berlin Film Festival in a special gala slot. The drama, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, sees Everett star as Oscar Wilde in the story of the writer’s final years. Everett also wrote the $13 million film.

"I am absolutely thrilled, particularly because Michael and Tom distributed my first film 'Another Country,' Everett said in a statement, referencing Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. Sony Pictures Classics is planning a 2018 release for the film, which could prove an awards vehicle for Everett.

The Happy Prince was produced by Sebastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer and Jorg Schulze. It is a Maze Pictures and Entre Chien et Loup production in co-production with Palomar, Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Tele München Group, RTBF, Proximus and in association with BBC Films.

Speaking to THR in a recent interview, Everett said he was never as interested in the "glorious side" of Oscar Wilde's life and career.

"I was always much more drawn to the fall of Oscar Wilde. I always found it a very romantic and tragic story. It’s one of the great stories of the end of the 19th century." 

"There's no doubting Rupert Everett's affinity for Oscar Wilde," THR said in its review. "Despite Everett's command in the central performance and a script liberally sprinkled with amusing bons mots, The Happy Prince generates only faltering dramatic momentum and a shortage of pathos." 

SPC negotiated the deal with CAA, who represented the filmmakers. Beta Cinema is handling international rights on the movie.