Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) has been acquired by Miramax Films, in a deal for all North American rights to the Cannes '07 competition film. Adapted by Ronald Harwood, the film is the story of former editor-in-chief of Elle Magazine in France, Jean-Dominique Bauby. Mathieu Amalric portrays Bauby, who, after suffering a debilitating stroke, was forced compose his autobiography entirely by dictation through a series of blinks, grunts and movements. He died in France three days after the book was published. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Kilik, the film also stars Emmanuelle Seigner and Max Von Sydow.
"What excited our whole team so much is that this film is a combination of all of the elements we look for and more - an amazing true story, a flawless adaptation of an incredible memoir, remarkably beautiful direction and extraordinary performances," said Miramax president Daniel Battsek, in a statement today in Cannes. "The end result is a film told with fantastic sensitivity and humanity that still manages to keep a sense of humor which audiences will find undoubtedly moving." Michael Luisi, an EVP at Miramax negotiated the deal with Cameron McCracken from Pathe UK and CAA, representing Schnabel. [Eugene Hernandez]