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Neil Jordan’s ‘Borgia’ Begins In April
29 Nov 2005 :

Scarlett Johansson

Neil Jordan’s passion project ‘Borgia’ is set to begin production in Italy and Romania in April 2006. Irish actor Colin Farrell (Intermission, The New World) and US actress Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) will play the lead characters in the religious period film.

'Borgia' charts the power struggle between one of the most powerful families in 15th century Rome, when Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia emerges as the top contender to take control of the Vatican in 1492. Farrell and Johansson will play Rodrigo’s illegitimate offspring Cesare and Lucrezia Borgial; Farrell’s character being a duplicitous and manipulative man who considers himself his sister's closest confidante and Johansson’s a girl torn between her family duties and a desire to find true love.

Jordan has been developing the project since 1999 when producer/director Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express, Back To The Future) sent him the original script and concept. Production was originally set to begin in 2002 (with Ewan McGregor and Christina Ricci in the starring roles) but market fluctuations and squabbles between producers saw the project shelved until now.

Speaking in LA last week, Jordan commented: "This Borgia thing is really worth doing. I am not a proselytiser for any kind of movie, but I think that Europe needs a big, dramatic, huge, emotional broad-appeal kind of story and this is it. One of the best European movies I've seen in a long time was Downfall and when I saw it, I thought this is the kind of movie we should be doing."

Jordan’s most recent project, the Irish filmed feature ‘Breakfast On Pluto’ starring Cillian Murphy, has just been released in the US and will be released in cinemas across Ireland in January 2006.

‘Borgia’ will be produced by ImageMovers' Jack Rapke and Christopher Eberts and Chris Roberts of Ascendant Pictures. Summit Entertainment's Patrick Wachsberger will begin selling strategic territories at AFM in partnership with CAA.

ImageMovers' Robert Zemeckis and Steve Starkey will exec produce with John D. Schofield. ImageMovers developed the original concept with Laeta Kalogridis.

Source: Variety.



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