U.S. Deal Closes for Meryl Streep Pic 'The Iron Lady' (Cannes Exclusive)

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher
2011 Alex Bailey

She portrays the former British prime minister in the upcoming The Iron Lady, which she began shooting this past January.

UPDATED: The Weinstein Co. and Ron Burkle's Yucaipa pay almost $7 million, and are planning a major awards campaign for the Margaret Thatcher biopic.

CANNES -- Will The Iron Lady be the next King’s Speech?

After a heated bidding war that lasted into the early hours of Friday, Pathe closed a deal with the Weinstein Co.  for U.S. rights to Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep.

The Weinstein Co. is partnering with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies on the acquistion. It’s their third joint venture this year, following pick-ups of Our Idiot Brothers and The Details.

Iron Lady will be completed by September in time for a fall or winter launch. The filmmakers and the Weinstein Co. are planning on a major awards run, particularly for Streep's performance.The Weinstein Co., of course, released Oscar winner The King’s Speech in the U.S.

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who also directed Streep in Mamma Mia!, the film stars Streep as the British prime minister and Jim Broadbent as her husband Denis. The film was written by Abi Morgan and produced by Damian Jones.

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Other bidders were believed to have included Summit Entertainment, Roadside Attractions and Open Road Films. Bidding began at around $5 million, but Pathe ultimately received closer to $7 million--its asking price--from the Weinstein Co.

The bidding started after footage from the biopic was screened here. 

Iron Lady, with a $13 million production budget, is being financed and produced by Pathe, Film 4 and the U.K. Film Council.