Screen Media Sings for Julianne Moore’s ‘Bel Canto’

Cannes 2018: Paul Weitz directed the drama based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel

Julianne Moore
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Screen Media picked up the North American rights to Paul Weitz’s “Bel Canto,” the company announced Tuesday.

The film, which Weitz and Anthony Weintraub adapted from the best-selling 2001 novel by Ann Patchett, stars Julianne Moore as a famous American soprano who travels to South America in the 1990s to give a private concert at the birthday party of a wealthy Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe) — and then gets caught in a hostage situation.

The cast also includes Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Ryo Kase, Tenoch Huerta, and María Mercedes Coroy.

Opera star Renée Fleming contributes vocals to the film — whose story is based on the real-life hostage crisis at the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru in 1996-97. Patchett’s book also inspired Jimmy López’ 2015 opera “Bel Canto” as well as a parody in the second season of the FX animated comedy “Archer.”

A national theatrical release is planned for September 2018.

The film is produced by Caroline Baron and Anthony Weintraub of A-Line Pictures; Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano of Depth of Field; and Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder, and Greg Little, who are producing and financing through their company Priority Pictures.

Seth Needle of Screen Media negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.

“I’m so happy with Screen Media’s passion for the movie,” Weitz said in a statement. “It was a joy filming it, and working with actors from such disparate backgrounds.”