The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired from Gaumont all rights to The Intouchables, the French language film produced by Quad Films. The deal covers all rights in North America, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Africa, China and distribution rights for pan-Asian satellite TV. TWC also has remake rights, to co-finance and co-produce an English language remake with Gaumont and the film's original producers Quad Films. The announcement was made by TWC's Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Lawson.
The Intouchables is directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, produced by Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun, and written by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. It stars acclaimed actor François Cluzet (Tell No One) and Omar Sy (Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre). A 2012 US theatrical release is expected.
Based on a true story, The Intouchables follows the unlikely friendship between wealthy paraplegic Philippe (François Cluzet) and Driss (Omar Sy), a guy from the street. When Philippe appoints Driss as his right-hand aide, he counts on Driss' pitiless, strong-arm approach to keep their relationship functional and straightforward. What neither expects is the friendship that develops between the two men. Inspiring, heartbreaking and outright hilarious at points, The Intouchables follows their journey of self-discovery, as both men uncover aspects of themselves that they never would have believed existed.
Said Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, "We are extremely proud to entrust our film with Harvey Weinstein and his dream team and look forward to presenting our The Intouchables and unexpected buddy duet to the world."
Said Cecile Gaget, Gaumont Head of International Sales, "We are very thrilled to have The Intouchables released by The Weinstein Company, who will be able to do a great campaign and bring this amazing emotional movie to a wide audience." Said Lawson, "The Intouchables is a breathtakingly moving piece of filmmaking with performances that speak straight to the heart. Acquiring this film was an opportunity we did not want to miss - and we spent the holiday weekend making sure that we didn't!"
Said Harvey Weinstein, TWC Co-Chairman, "Occasionally, you find a story that translates universally, and The Intouchables is a perfect example. We look forward to bringing this beautiful and entertaining film to a worldwide audience."