Miramax and Pathe are near deals to partner in "Cheri," an adaptation of the 1920s novel by French author Colette about the lingering effects of a romance between a middle-aged woman and a wealthy young man.
In what shapes up as a "Dangerous Liaisons" re-team, Christopher Hampton wrote the script, Stephen Frears will direct and Michelle Pfeiffer is negotiating to star.
Miramax is said to be wrapping up a deal to control North American rights for a commitment near $7.5 million. Pathe will control overseas territories, mirroring the arrangement the two companies had on the last Frears-directed film, "The Queen."
The film will be produced by Bill Kenwright and Reliant Pictures topper Thom Mount.
Kenwright, the U.K.-based theater impresario and owner of the Premier League soccer team Everton, spent seven years with Hampton working on the adaptation. Even though Hampton has heat from an Oscar nomination on "Atonement," piecing together the movie for an April production start in France and London was a real challenge over the past week.
Miramax bid against several other specialty shingles last week, but just when it appeared the Disney-owned company was ready to close a deal, talks broke off because Miramax wanted Pathe as its partner. Talks have been ongoing all week to make that happen, and the deals appeared close last night, with Pfeiffer in the final stages of negotiation.