Picturehouse and New Line International have acquired all rights to Francois Girard's epic, romantic drama Silk starring Michael Pitt (Last Days), Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice), Koji Yakusho (Memoirs of a Geisha) and Alfred Molina (Spiderman II). It was announced today by Bob Berney, president of Picturehouse, Rolf Mittweg, president and COO of New Line Worldwide Distribution and Marketing and Camela Galano, president of New Line International.

Based on the beloved, best-selling novel by Alessandro Baricco, Silk is the story of Herve Joncour, a 19th Century French Silkworm merchant who travels to Japan and begins a clandestine and forbidden romance with a mysterious and sensual woman.

Adapted by Girard and Michael Golding, Silk is produced by Niv Fichman, Nadine Luque, Domenico Procacci, and Sonoko Sakai. Principal photography will begin at the end of February in Matsumoto, Japan and will be completed in Italy in late May. Filming will follow Herve Joncour's route across Egypt and Asia.

"Silk is a sweeping erotic tale that will translate gloriously from page to screen," said Berney. "With the book's many dedicated fans around the world, we look forward to bringing this film to theaters."

"Alessandro Baricco's book is perfect movie material," said Girard. "It offers both the intimacy of a gripping emotional tale and the epic quality of a journey to the end of the world."

Brian B.