Partners on Traffic and Che, Benicio Del Toro and U.S. producer Laura Bickford are teaming on How the Light Gets In, a contemporary love story, set at four hotels, in New York, London, Paris and Berlin. Musician-novelist-screenwriter James Greer, who penned Cleo for Steven Soderbergh, has finished a screenplay, Bickford said at Spain’s San Sebastian Festival.
How the Light Gets In – the title taken from a Leonard Cohen song - is set up
at Laura Bickford Productions. In it, Del Toro will play a Chilean novelist living in Paris who unexpectedly falls in love with a woman. Bickford and Del Toro are now
Benicio [Del Toro] and I have a long creative partnership. We started developing Che before Traffic. I really wanted to develop something where he could be funny and romantic”, Bickford explained just before the European premiere of Arbitrage, which she produced.
Along with Del Toro, Bickford already has an adaptation of Jane Heller’s novel,
An Ex To Grind, set up at 20th Century Fox. Del Toro and Cameron Diaz are attached to star in the romantic comedy. Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up) penned
Bickford also exec produced Del Toro’s second short as a director, El Yuma. Starring Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) as a film student enjoying a drunken night on the town, it opens omnibus feature 7 Days in Havana, which screens Monday at San Sebastian.
Multiple other movies are in development. Among them, Brett Easton Ellis is writing an English-language remake of Brazilian thriller O Invasor (The Trespasser). Bickford is also working on a project with Mexico’s Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala).
Bickford looks to make “director and actor-driven quality mainstream movie”, she said at San Sebastian. “There’s a new crop of directors that I’m really interested
in”, she added. She rarely bucks a challenge. Che took 10 years from inception to screen. Wellreceived at San Sebastian – influential Spanish newspaper “El Pais” praised its “thankful balance of quality and commercial potential” - Arbitrage was director Nicholas Jarecki’s first fiction feature. But Gere liked Jarecki’s script, and Bickford brought to the table cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (Carlos), composer Cliff Martinez (Traffic, Drive) and editor Douglas Crise (Traffic, Babel). Bowing in the U.S. Sept. 14 in theatrical and VOD, Arbitrage took the biggest-ever opening weekend B.O. gross for a dayand- date film: $2 million off 197 screens.
Result “proves there are people in the U.S. who are starved for adult movies that have a little meat on the bones”, Bickford said. john hopewell