Sony Pictures Classics Takes Comedy 'Fall of the American Empire'

Dominik Magdziak Photography/WireImage
Denys Arcand

The specialty label nabbed U.S. and Latin American rights to the follow-up to Oscar winner Denys Arcand's 'The Decline of the American Empire.'

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. and Latin American rights to Canadian director Denys Arcand's comedy The Fall of the American Empire.

The French-language film, now in postproduction, is the follow-up to Arcand's Oscar-nominated The Decline of the American Empire. That 1986 film completed a trilogy by Arcand, a Cannes veteran, that includes The Barbarian Invasions, which won the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2005.

Thirty years after the original film, Fall of the American Empire explores the dominant role capitalism plays in society when other values appear to have crumbled. Pierre-Paul Daoust, an intellectual played by Alexandre Landry, is forced to work as a deliveryman to afford a decent living. One day, while delivering a parcel, he gets caught in a holdup gone terribly wrong, leaving two dead and millions in money bags laying on the ground. Pierre-Paul is confronted with a dilemma: Leave empty handed, or take the money and run?

"Denys Arcand is back with a satirical spirit as biting and as perceptive and as entertaining as he has ever been! It’s great to be back with him and bring his new robust work to the American audience," Sony Pictures Classics said Wednesday in a statement. Quebec stars Maripier Morin, Louis Morissette, Maxim Roy, Pierre Curzi and Remy Girard lead the film's ensemble cast.

Fall of the American Empire reunites Arcand with Michael Barker and Tom Bernard after Sony Pictures Classics released two of his earlier pics, Love and Human Remains and Jesus of Montreal.

Fall of the American Empire, like Arcand's earlier work, is being produced by Denise Robert. Seville International also sold the film to Lemon Tree for China, Filmcoopi for Switzerland, Russian Report for Russia, Feelgood for Greece, Wanda Vision for Spain, Nachschon Films for Israel, Outsider Films for Portugal and Fox Vision for the former Yugoslavia.

The Sony Pictures Classics distribution deal, which sees the specialty label also take the film for Australia and New Zealand, was negotiated by Anick Poirier from Seville International and Denise Robert from Cinemaginaire.