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In a competitive situation, Universal has acquired the hot pitch Swan Lake, starring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actress Felicity Jones.
The pitch, from Kristina Lauren Anderson (Catherine the Great), is inspired by the classic ballet story Swan Lake and sparked a bidding war among several studios. The project has Jones attached to star and Call Me by Your Name helmer Luca Guadagnino attached to direct.
Swan Lake, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is one of the most popular ballets of all time. The story follows Odette, a princess that is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 thriller Black Swan used the play as inspiration for its story, but did not follow the storyline of the classic ballet. This new retelling would not be a ballet but would be a tentpole film based on the story told in the ballet. Universal seems like a strong fit for this story, as the studio previously released the female-centered dark fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman.
Mandeville Films is producing the project, and Erik Baiers will oversee it for Universal. WME repped the package in the deal.
Anderson wrote Catherine the Great, which was No. 1 on the 2014 Black List. She is writing the limited series Mrs. Hemingway for Jude Law at Amazon, and has recently written projects such as The Briefcase for Greg Berlanti and Casey Affleck at Paramount, Invisibility at Warner Bros. and Life and Death in Eden for Eric Newman and Studio Canal. Anderson also was a consulting producer on TNT’s upcoming event series The Alienist. She is repped by WME and MGMT Entertainment.
Jones starred in the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, the drama A Monster Calls and Inferno opposite Tom Hanks. She previously received an Oscar nomination for her work in The Theory of Everything. The actress is repped by WME and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.
Guadagnino’s latest film, Call Me by Your Name, starring Armie Hammer, was a breakout at Sundance and is set to be released by Sony Pictures Classics on Nov. 24. The helmer is in postproduction on fantasy-horror thriller Suspiria, which centers on a ballerina who trains at a German dance academy and stars Chloe Moritz and Tilda Swinton. Guadagnino also is attached to direct the drama Rio. He is repped by WME and Bloom Hergott.
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