Focus Features Lands U.S. Rights To Edward Berger’s Papal Thriller ‘Conclave’ Starring Ralph Fiennes And Stanley Tucci

More movies potentially for next year’s starved 2024 theatrical release calendar: Focus Features has taken U.S. distribution rights to Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front filmmaker Edward Berger’s papal thriller Conclave. The movie’s starry cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, Carlos Diehz, Lucian Msamati, Brían F. O’Byrne, Merab Ninidze, Sergio Castellitto and Isabella Rossellini.

Focus Features
Focus Features

The Peter Straughan-penned script based on Robert Harris’ bestselling novel centers on the secret papal conclave, which is electing a new Pope. After the death of a beloved Pope, Cardinal Lawrence (Fiennes) is tasked with running this covert process inside the back corners of the Vatican. Lawrence quickly finds himself the center of a conspiracy, as the cardinals forge factions and rivalries to serve their own ambitions. As divisions and scandals start to boil over and the political machinations inside the Vatican intensify, Lawrence realizes the departed Pope had kept a secret from them that he must uncover before a new Pope is chosen.

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The House Productions and FilmNation Entertainment movie is produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell for House, Michael A. Jackman for FilmNation, Robert Harris and Alice Dawson, and was developed with the support of Access Entertainment.  FilmNation and Indian Paintbrush – with Steven Rales serving as EP – co-financed the film.

“Edward Berger is a devilishly talented filmmaker who made our collective hearts race by showing us what happens to our better angels in those Machiavellian halls of power,” said Peter Kujawski, chairman of Focus Features. “We cannot wait to bring audiences to the edge of their seats with him and our friends at House Productions, Indian Paintbrush and FilmNation.”

Added Berger: “Twenty-seven years ago, I landed my first job as an intern at the company that later became Focus. Ever since I left and embarked on the long path of making movies I have been wanting to return. To now work with Peter Kujawski and his incredibly dedicated team feels like I have arrived at a home that I‘ve always missed. I am grateful and so cannot wait to share the movie with audiences in the US as well as around the world at the hands of Focus and all our distribution partners.”

Glen Basner, Alison Cohen, Milan Popelka, Ben Browning, Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen, Zoe Edwards, Harry Dixon, Paul Randle, Tomas Alfredson, Berger, Fiennes, Straughan, Robyn Slovo, Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa also executive produced.

The U.S. sale was handled by CAA Media Finance, FilmNation Entertainment, and Indian Paintbrush. Internationally, the film will be released by Elevation in Canada, Black Bear in the UK, Dea Planeta in Spain, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Edko Films in Hong Kong, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Empire Entertainment in South Africa, Italia Films in the Middle East, Kino Film in Japan, Leonine in Germany, Lev in Israel, Nos Lusomundo in Portugal, Pioneer Films in the Philippines, PVR Pictures in India and Pakistan, Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand, Sam Film in Iceland, Shaw in Singapore, SND in France, Sun in LATAM, Tanweer in Greece, The Searchers in Benelux, Vertical in CEE, ACME Film in the Baltics and Svensk in Scandinavia.

FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

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