‘Bel Canto’ Film Featuring Renée Fleming Acquired By Screen Media

By Francisco Salazar

Screen Media has acquired the North American rights to “Bel Canto,” Paul Weitz’s adaptation of the acclaimed Ann Patchett novel.

The new film, about a hostage crisis, stars Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe with Opera legend Renée Fleming contributing vocals to the film.

“Bel Canto” tells the story of Roxane Coss (Moore), a famous American soprano, who travels to South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of a Japanese mogul (Watanabe). The festivities are interrupted by guerrillas demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades.

The film also stars Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Ryo Kase, Tenoch Huerta and María Mercedes Coroy and was written by Anthony Weintraub and Weitz.

This is the second adaptation of Patchett’s novel as Nico Cruz and Jimmy Lopez adapted it for the opera stage. It world premiered during the 2015-16 season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and starred Danielle de Niese, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and J’nai Bridges. It was later presented on PBS as part of the Great Performances series.

“Bel Canto” is set for a theatrical release in September.