Focus Features has acquired the US rights to Edward Berger’s new thriller. Conclave, starring Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci and John Lithgow.
Based on the bestseller of the same name by Robert Harris. Conclave is set during the secret Vatican meeting of Catholic cardinals meeting in Rome to elect a new Pope. Fiennes plays Cardinal Lomeli, charged with overseeing the cardinals who arrive from all over the world to join the conclave. But as political machinations within the Vatican increase, Lomeli realizes that the departed Pope has been hiding a secret from them that he must reveal before a new Pope is elected.
Lithgow plays Cardinal Tremblay, Tucci plays Cardinal Bellini and Isabella Rossellini plays Sister Agnes.
Conclave is produced by House Productions and FilmNation Entertainment, with Peter Straughan writing the script. The ensemble cast includes Carlos Diehz, Lucian Msamati, Brían F. O’Byrne, Merab Ninidze and Sergio Castellitto.
“Edward Berger is a devilishly talented filmmaker who sets our collective hearts racing by showing us what happens to our better angels in those Machiavellian halls of power. We can’t wait to bring audiences to the edge of their seats with him and our friends at House Productions, Indian Paintbrush and FilmNation,” Peter Kujawski, chairman of Focus Features, said in a statement on Friday.
Conclave is produced by Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell, Michael A. Jackman, Robert Harris and Alice Dawson, and developed with the support of Access Entertainment. FilmNation Entertainment and Indian Paintbrush have co-financed the film.
German director Berger (Patrick Melrose, Germany ’83) earned an Academy Award for his anti-war epic No news from the western front.
“27 years ago I got my first job as an intern at the company that later became Focus. Ever since I left and started the long path of filmmaking, I wanted to return. Now to work with Peter Kujawski and his incredibly dedicated team, I feel like I have arrived at a home that I have always missed. I am grateful and can’t wait to share the film with audiences in the US and around the world, thanks to Focus and all of our distribution partners,” Berger said in a statement.
The US distribution deal was handled by CAA Media Finance, FilmNation Entertainment and Indian Paintbrush.