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Italian company AMBI Pictures Group has acquired English-language remake rights to Arto Halonen’s 2010 Finnish hit Princess.
Based on a true story, Princess is the story of former cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen who checks into a psychiatric hospital claiming she’s a member of the British royal family. Her insistence on making the hospital her castle and building a makeshift court has a surprisingly positive effect on the bored medical staff, patients and villagers.
The film grossed $3 million in Finland, and it has since become a successful musical in the country. Sculptor Rauni Liukko erected a monument at Kellokoski Hospital in 1995 in honor of Lappalainen, allegedly the only statue in the world dedicated to a psychiatric patient. Julie Sultan brought the project to AMBI. She had previously acquired it for W2 Media in 2011, but the project never got off the ground.
“Princess is a remarkable and fascinating story that has proven its commercial viability on the big screen,” says AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino. “We know there is a wider global audience who will embrace a retelling and believe that a film of such high pedigree is an attractive piece for actresses of equal stature.”
AMBI, led by Iervolino and Monika Bacardi have been on a roll since their Venice premiere of The Humbling starring Al Pacino. They recently wrapped Andron: The Black Labyrinth starring Alec Baldwin and Danny Glover. Marco Rissi‘s Tre Tocchi, about a journalist from Naples killed by the Mafia in 1985, will be in competition at Rome Film Festival next week. They have also announced All Roads Lead to Rome, a romantic comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker, which will start shooting at the end of the month.
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