Focus Features acquires epic 'Agora'

May 19, 2008 at 6:53 PM
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CANNES, France, May 19 (UPI) -- Focus Features International announced at the Cannes Film Festival that it has acquired sales and distribution rights to "Agora," a historical epic.

The movie is the latest from "The Sea Inside" filmmaker Alejandro Amenabar. It stars British actress Rachel Weisz, who won an Oscar for her work in Focus' "The Constant Gardener."

In the new film, she will play the real-life Hypatia of Alexandria, who was the Western world's first female astronomer and philosopher, the studio said.

"Agora" will also star Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom, Michael Lonsdale, Rupert Evans and Homayoun Ershadi.

Focus said it will have rights to "Agora" worldwide except for Spain and North America.

Currently in production on location in Malta, "Agora" is set in fourth century Roman Egypt. It is Amenabar's second English-language feature, following his hit supernatural thriller, "The Others."

He co-wrote the screenplay for "Agora" with his frequent collaborator Mateo Gil and his longtime producer Fernando Bovaira is producing the film.

"'Agora' is going to thrill a worldwide audience," Focus Features International President Alison Thompson said in a statement. "(We) are delighted to be reunited with Rachel, on this spectacular production from Alejandro and Fernando."

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