Cannes, of course, is just as much of a trade event as an art exhibit. And so, a brief round-up of this weekend's big deals:
- German and Italian rights have sold to Wong Kar-Wai's next project, The Lady of Shanghai, starring Nicole Kidman (!). We'll definitely try to find out more about this one ASAP.
- Participant Productions, the venture created by former Ebay president Jeff Skoll, has acquired the rights to Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation project. They'll take an equity stake and will seek out a partner for distribution.
- Moviestream, a "Belgium tax financier" - no, I'm not 100% what that means, either - is moving into English language production with Rigatoni, based on a Tonino Benacquista novel about an Englishman and the Italian vineyard he inherits.
- The Weinstein Company - they're doing so much business this week at Cannes that we're going to hereby remove the "new" qualifier - is teaming with IDG New Media Fund to distribute Chen Kaige's The Promise, and probably other titles. Harvey's totally psyched: "This script is like reading poetry in motion and seeing the promo reel confirms Kaige's status as a master of cinema."
- Palm Pictures and subsid (like our pseudo-Varietyspeak?) Arthouse Films will distribute a documentary on photographer William Eggleston from Hamlet director Michael Almereyda.
- First Independent has bought the rights to New York Doll, a doc on Arthur "Killer" Kane that screened at Sundance.
- Japanese distributor Gaga has come back from the dead to pick up rights to Almodovar's Volver, Tom Tykwer's Perfume, and Babel from Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.