Bleecker Street has acquired North American distribution rights to the historical epic The Return, which will be based on Homer’s ancient classic “The Odyssey.” Directed by Academy Award nominee Uberto Pasolini (Nowhere Special) and written by Academy Award nominee Edward Bond (Blow-Up, Walkabout), John Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Hotel Mumbai) and Pasolini, The Return reunites Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche 25 years after they starred in the Oscar-winning film The English Patient. The film will also star Venice Film Festival Best Young Actor Award winner Charlie Plummer (Lean on Pete), with production beginning in Greece this spring in the regions of Corfu and the Peloponnese, before continuing in Italy. Bleecker Street will release the film in theaters in 2024.
After 20 years away Odysseus (Fiennes) washes up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable. The King has finally returned home but much has changed in his kingdom since he left to fight in the Trojan war. His beloved wife Penelope (Binoche) is now a prisoner in her own home, hounded by her many ambitious suitors to choose a new husband, a new king. Their son Telemachus (Plummer), who has grown up fatherless, is facing death at the hands of the suitors who see him as an obstacle in their relentless pursuit of Penelope and the kingdom. Odysseus has changed too. Scarred by his experience of war, he is no longer the mighty warrior his people remember. But he is forced to face his past in order to rediscover the strength needed to save his family and win back the love he has lost.
The Return is an Italy-Greece-UK-France co-production, produced by Pasolini and James Clayton for Red Wave Films, Roberto Sessa for Picomedia (Asacha Media Group) with Rai Cinema, Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovravkis for Heretic and Stéphane Moatti, Romain Le Grand, Vivien Aslanian and Marco Pacchioni for Kabo Films (Asacha Media Group) and Marvelous Production. Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson will executive produce for Bleecker Street. The deal was negotiated by Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy of Bleecker Street with HanWay Films, who is handling international sales at the Berlin International Film Festival.
HanWay Films has sold The Return to partners in a number of additional territories, including to The Searchers in Benelux; Nos Lusomundo in Portugal; Mars in Turkey; Monolith in Poland; Cinemania in Former Yugoslavia; GPI in the Baltic States; Front Row in the Middle East; Filmfinity in South Africa; and Shaw in Singapore. Cinesky also has the exclusive airline rights to the title.