May 17th, 2007

Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media will fund and produce a movie about Mary Queen of Scots with Scarlett Johansson attached.

The financier and producer also said Thursday that Relativity has acquired the rights to the Tom Clancy fictional character John Kelly and will produce a movie version of the writer’s bestseller Without Remorse. Screenplay is being written by Stuart Beattie.

In its four years as a film investor, Relativity said it has pumped roughly $4.5 billion into Hollywood studio slates or into specific films being made by independents. Kavanaugh described the individual production partners with whom the company is working as “our portfolio managers,” stressing that he primarily wants to be in business with those producers who are adept at making profitable as well as entertaining movies.

The Mary Queen of Scots project will be produced by Kavanaugh as well as New Regency’s Alexandra Milchan and Melanie Johanasson. Project will be penned by Jimmy McGovern and directed by John Curran. Capitol Films is handling worldwide rights here in Cannes.

As for the Clancy project Kavanaugh said it will likely become a franchise series of movies, since there is more than just one book in which the character appears. “We’ll have A-list talent attached and we do intend to do more than just one film,” Kavanaugh said. Mario Kassar’s Magnetik will distribute internationally.

In another announcement Thursday Kavanaugh said Gerald Butler would topline in the Brian De Palma Untouchables prequel called Capone Rising — and indeed the actor put in a 60-second appearance to say how “unbelievable” the script was. (Paramount has domestic on the movie.)

Relativity also tub-thumbed a clutch of its other movies being distribbed here by various partners. Most notable for the intensity of the promo reel was 3:10 to Yuma, which showed Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in top form. Arclight is selling the Western overseas, but no deals have yet been unveiled.

Kavanaugh also said Relativity is adding Wild Bunch as one of its foreign partners, but didn’t specify on what movies.

Source: Variety

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