Toronto: 'Samba' With Omar Sy Acquired By Broad Green Pictures

Samba Still - H 2014
David Koskas - Quad - Gaumont

Samba Still - H 2014

The young company will handle the film's U.S. release

Broad Green Pictures has bought the U.S. distribution rights to Samba, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's directorial follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Intouchables.

The new company is planning a release in the second half of 2015 for the dramedy, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival

Samba reteams Nakache and Toledano with Intouchables star Omar Sy, who plays Samba, a Senegalese immigrant in France. He is thrown in detention, where he meets awkward immigration worker Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and they develop a romance that is challenged when Samba is ordered to leave the country. Tahar Rahim co-stars as a friend of Samba's with whom he searches for work.

The script was adapted by Nakache and Toledano from the novel Samba Pour La France by French writer and director Delphine Coulin. Gaumont produced the film with Quad Productions' Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun and Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky.

The film is the second acquisition this week for Broad Green. The company founded by brothers Daniel and Gabriel Hammond earlier snagged the U.S. rights to the Andrew Garfield-Michael Shannon drama 99 Homes, which centers on America's economic woes in the Recession era. Its slate also includes Learning to Drive, which it produced and which was the runner-up for TIFF's People's Choice Award, and the romantic drama 10.000 Km.

Its deal for Samba was negotiated by Gabriel Hammond with CAA, which represents Sy and the directors, and Gaumont International head Cécile Gaget.

Nakache and Toledano's The Intouchables is the highest-grossing French-language film in the U.S. of the last decade, with a domestic gross of $10.2 million. The film, which stars François Cluzet as a wealthy quadriplegic aided by a down-on-his-luck caretaker (Sy), was the highest-grossing foreign film of 2012 in North America and a colossal hit internationally, with a worldwide gross of $426.6 million.

Sy meanwhile is a fast-rising star, with roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo under his belt and appearances set in Jurassic World and the Weinstein Company's untitled chef movie starring Bradley Cooper.

Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka