Harvey Weinstein said about the acquisition of U.S. rights to Quartet, starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and Pauline Collins, that he “decided to give an up-and-coming first-timer a chance.”
With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Weinstein’s comment referred to Dustin Hoffman, who makes his directorial debut with the comedy set in a home for retired opera singers. It also stars Tom Courtenay.
“We’re excited to be working with Dustin on his directorial debut,” Weinstein added.
The Weinstein Co. and TWC COO David Glasser made a pre-emptive, take-it-off-the-table offer based on the script and HanWay Films promo, before planned L.A. and N.Y. acquisition screenings May 3.
Written by Ronald Harwood, Quartet is produced by Finola Dwyer and Stewart Mackinnon and bankrolled by BBC Films, DCM Productions and Decca.
The executive producers are Jamie Laurenson, Dario Suter, Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiny, Dickon Stainer, Xavier Marchand and Hoffman.
The deal was ironed out by U.K.-based sales banner HanWay’s managing director Thorsten Schumacher and COO Jan Spielhoff, alongside WME Global’s Graham Taylor, who co-repped the U.S. rights.
TWC senior vp acquisitions Negeen Yazdi and business affairs executive Talia Houminer negotiated on behalf of TWC.
HanWay has completed more than 30 worldwide deals including Marchand’s Momentum in the U.K., Transmission for Australia, DCM for Germany and Vertice for Spain.