Cesar Ritz getting big-screen treatment

'Henderson's' David, Kathy Rose developing movie

LONDON -- The life and times of the flamboyant Cesar Ritz, who was at the heart of the founding and development of the famous Ritz Hotels in France and the U.K., will be the subject of a feature film.

Writing-producing team David and Kathy Rose, the duo behind "Mrs. Henderson Presents," are developing a movie inspired by Ritz's life and times.

Ritz, the 13th son of a Swiss-German goatherd, and his lifetime associate, Auguste Escoffier, revolutionized the luxury hotel concept by introducing everything from en-suite bathrooms to a la carte menus.

Beginning with a restaurant in Cannes, the duo went on to establish hotels in Paris, London and Madrid.

Christopher Granier-Deferre of London-based Poisson Rouge Pictures will produce alongside the Roses, with financing for the $20 million feature being put together by Screen Opus, which also will handle international sales.

Screen Opus is an independent sales and financing company based in London part-owned by French distributor and exhibitor MK2 and U.S.-based Severance Pictures.

Nicolas Bonnard and Courtney Williams will act as executive producers on the project, which is being penciled in for a spring 2009 start. No director is attached.