As The Weinstein Company works to put the finishing touches on a best picture win for “The King’s Speech” at the Academy Awards Feb. 27, the company is also making sure its cupboard isn’t bare for next awards season. The mini-major already has “My Week with Marilyn” starring Michelle Williams in the fold, but today the company announced it has acquired the U.S. rights to “Coriolanus,” the directorial debut of none other than Ralph Fiennes.
This modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic features Fiennes (who also produced as well as directed), Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain (who is in serious danger of 2011 over exposure before any of her films are released) and James Nesbitt. The tragic and epic play tells of a vengeful warrior who almost destroys Rome until he’s killed for betraying his people. How Fiennes plans to place the story in modern times is unclear, but the photos released so far features numerous shots of Fiennes and Butler as Western soldiers in the Middle East. Intriguing to say the least.
In a statement on the pick up Harvey Weinstein noted, “My brother”s and my relationship with Ralph stretches back many years and includes two of our most cherished productions, ‘The English Patient’ and ‘The Reader.’ He”s a brilliant artist, and we are honored and delighted to partner with him in bringing ‘Coriolanus’ to American moviegoers.”
Ralph Fiennes added, “I’m thrilled that Harvey and TWC will distribute ‘Coriolanus’ in the U.S. His response to the film was overwhelmingly passionate. He really embraced it. This has been a long road and I cannot think of a better company to do it in the U.S.”
The studio confirmed it plans a late 2011 release for the drama.
Movie fans, critics and competitors won’t have to wait long for the word on “Coriolanus” as it premieres at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday.