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Friday 27th February, 2004
Anthony Hopkins as Ernest Hemingway toplines the new reel of flicks from sales outfit Hanway Films, which also is handling the latest movies from Wim Wenders and Israeli helmer Amos Gitai.
Hopkins will star with Meg Ryan in "Papa," a $27 million project to be directed by Adrian Noble, formers artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Co.

Set in Havana in 1959, it's the story of a young journalist searching for a father and family against the backdrop of the Cuban revolution, and how he finds his own "papa" in the drunken, gun-toting Hemingway.

Script by Denne Bart Petitclerc draws on his own encounters with the aging author in the same period. Producer is Thom Mount, with the pic to shoot this summer in Portugal.

The crew includes three Oscar winners --- production designer Martin Childs, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and costume designer Yvonne Blake.

Mount said, "This is a story of personal passion and one's willingness to take risks. These themes resonated for Hemingway and Denne Petitclerc, who lived this story."

Meanwhile, Hanway, the sales arm of producer Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Co., has picked up two low-budget movies currently in production --- "Land of Plenty," directed by Wenders, and "Promised Land Hotel," directed by Gitai.

"Land of Plenty" (previously titled "Angst and Alienation in America") stars Michelle Williams and John Diehl in a story about a stranger arriving in Los Angeles in search of her last remaining family. U.S. distrib IFC has all English-speaking rights, with Hanway selling the pic in the rest of the world. Producers are Gotham-based InDigEnt and Wenders' Reverse Angle.
Gitai is making a rare foray into English-lingo filmmaking with "Promised Land Hotel," a thriller about an investigative journalist who uncovers a human trafficking ring in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites). It stars Rosamund Pike , Anne Parillaud and Hanna Schygulla and is produced by Gitai and Michel Propper.

Hanway also is co-financing Wenders' next project, "Don't Come Knocking," in which Sam Shepard will star as a movie star who rides off set in midshoot on a quest of self-discovery. Jean Reno and Jessica Lange co-star, with shooting due to start in May. Sony Pictures Classics has taken English-speaking rights, with Ocean picking up France and Mikado taking Italy.

At the American Film Market, Hanway will premiere its CGI-animated movie "Back to Gaya," with Rachel Weisz and Patrick Stewart newly signed to the voice cast.

"It's all about The Old Man and the Fee!"

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