Cannes: Julianne Moore's 'Bel Canto' Goes to Screen Media

Getty Images
Julianne Moore

Paul Weitz directed the romantic drama, which also stars Ken Watanabe.

Screen Media has acquired North American rights to Paul Weitz’s Bel Canto, a romantic drama starring Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Ryo Kase, Tenoch Huerta, and María Mercedes Coroy.  

Adapted by screenwriter Anthony Weintraub and Weitz from Ann Patchett’s novel, the film revolves around a disparate group of people in a hostage situation in South America in the 1990s. 

The distributor is planning a September national release.

Bel Canto was produced by Caroline Baron and Anthony Weintraub of A-Line Pictures; Weitz and Andrew Miano of Depth of Field; and Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder and Greg Little, who produced and financed through their company Priority Pictures.

In the drama, Moore plays a famous American soprano who travels to South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of wealthy Japanese industrialist Katsumi Hosokawa (Watanabe). As local dignitaries convene at the vice president’s mansion, including the French ambassador (Lambert), the house is taken over by guerrillas demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades. The film’s vocals are provided by opera star Renee Fleming. 
 
“Paul Weitz, Caroline Baron, Anthony Weintraub and the team have crafted a terrific film that captures the essence of the novel. We couldn’t be more excited to work with all the talent involved to bring this story to audiences and book readers alike,” said Seth Needle, senior vp, worldwide acquisitions, Screen Media Ventures, who negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content, which repped the filmmakers.