Richard Gere is Living in the Past in Andrew Renzi’s Feature Debut; Sundance Lab “Franny” Shoots in October

Richard Gere Andrew Renzi Franny

He has been on our radar since he produced Alistair Banks Griffin’s Two Gates of Sleep (2010) and mounted his writing-directing projects in the Sundance preemed shorts The Fort (2012) and Karaoke! (2013) (here is one of our two interviews with the helomer), Deadline reports that Richard Gere has boarded Andrew Renzi’s directorial debut – a Sundance Writers’ Lab project that will begin lensing in October, Franny will potentially film Philadelphia where the original screenplay is set. We’re looking forward to more casting announcements for the roles of the young couple. The producer army begins with Treehouse Pictures’ Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen (All Is Lost), TideRock Media’s Thomas B Fore and Jason Michael Berman (Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents) and Big Shoes Media’s Jay Schuminsky are producing. Magnolia Entertainment’s Shelley Browning and Michael Diamond serve as executive producers alongside Soaring Flight Productions’ Ruth Mutch and QED evp of international sales John Friedberg.

Gist: Gere will play a fun-loving, hedonistic philanthropist who works his way into the lives of a newlywed couple to recapture the life he once had.

Worth Noting: One of Renzi’s first gigs was as a co-producer on the Sundance preemed Sympathy for Delicious – actor Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut.

Do We Care? Included among our Best of Fest Top 20 Voices at Sundance this year – in his short starring Brady Corbet, we mentioned that Renzi’s “lush, muted palette choices but embedded in his broad strokes we sense a distinct knack for his composition of the frame, an expertise knowing how and what to include, not include and what to disclose within the its borders as we question the motives of his characters well beyond what is presented on screen, as in many ways it mirrors our own concerns.” This is easily among our most anticipated films for 2014.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)