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BlackButterflyTHR

AMBI Distribution, the sales arm of the AMBI Group, is handling worldwide sales and will be introducing the film to buyers in Cannes next month.

Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers have signed on to star in the psychological thriller Black Butterfly.

Directed by Brian Goodman (What Doesn’t Kill You), the movie is a remake of the French filmPapillon Noir, written by Herve Korian. Justin Stanley and Steve Hilts are writing the English-language screenplay.

Banderas will play Paul, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who picks up a drifter (Rhys Meyers) and offers him a place to stay. However, when the deranged stranger takes Paul hostage and forces him to write, their unhinged relationship brings buried secrets to light.

Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Group and Silvio Muraglia’s Paradox Studios are financing and producing Black Butterfly. Marc Frydman also is producing, while Mikael Wiren and Alexandra Klim are executive producing.

AMBI Distribution, the sales arm of the AMBI Group, is handling worldwide sales and will be introducing the film to buyers in Cannes next month.

Principal photography is slated to begin in May in Italy.

“This is a film where emotions cascade as the story unfolds with twists and turns that create unrelenting drama and thrills,” Iervolino said Thursday in a statement. “To pull it off, you need an actor with real gravitas and proven connectivity with audiences, so we feel fortunate to have Antonio step into this incredible role and do what he does best — own a role and deliver amazing performances.”

Added Bacardi: “We are thrilled to be producing a film with such amazing talent on both sides of the camera. Antonio is a powerful force onscreen and has a role here that will tap into his amazing versatility as an actor. On the other side of the camera, we couldn’t be happier to put this film in the hands of Brian, whose vision and passion for this project is tremendously inspiring.”

Banderas is repped by Paradigm, Media Art Management and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman; Rhys Meyers is handled by Brillstein Entertainment; and Goodman is with APA.

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TTBDeadline

Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp and Brooke Smith have joined the cast of Marti Noxon’s feature directorial debut To The Bone, the dark anorexia comedy that already stars Lily Collins, Carrie Preston, Keanu Reeves and Liana Liberto. Noxon wrote the pic inspired by her own personal experience with anorexia.

Meanwhile, AMBI Group principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi have come on board to finance the film along with Sparkhouse Media and will become co-executive producers. That deal will kick off a broader relationship between AMBI and Sparkhouse that will see the pair co-finance and co-produce a slate of films. AMBI Group’s worldwide sales arm AMBI Distribution will also handle global sales of To The Bone and introduce the project next month at Cannes.

Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis of Mockingbird Pictures will produce along with Sparkhouse’s Karina Miller. Miller heads Sparkhouse with her husband and financier Talal AlAbbar.

Taylor’s recent credits include ABC’s American Crime on the TV side and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials on the film side. She is repped by APA and Circle of Confusion. Sharp, best known for his Tony-winning role in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, is repped by CAA and Elin Flack Management. Smith, repped by Paradigm and Barking Dog Management, recently recurred on Ray Donovan and her film credits include Interstellar and Silence Of The Lambs.

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MonikaAndreaDeadline

Lantica Media and AMBI Group have entered a multi-picture co-production and co-financing deal for English- and Spanish-language features. The partners have committed to making three films over the next three-to-five years which they will fully finance. AMBI Distribution, will handle worldwide sales. Lantica’s interests include Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios and Lantica Pictures which develops, finances and produces original content for English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. Its most recent project is the Jonas Cuaron-helmed Z which shoots this summer. AMBI, founded by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, is the company that’s mounting a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento and a biopic of Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini to be written by Bobby Moresco. Last year, AMBI acquired the Exclusive Media Group film library. AMBI and Lantica are also partnering in a new VFX and 3D conversion post-production facility that will be based at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios where xXx is currently shooting. The company will fall under AMBI’s Toronto-based AIC Studios banner.

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ANDREAMONIKAREPORTER

Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino’s consortium partner with Dubai-based Barajoun for a slate of family features with individual budgets in the $50 million range.

Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino have turned to the Middle East to expand the growing animated film slate of their AMBI Group consortium.

The company on Wednesday announced a deal with Dubai-based animation studio Barajoun for five features with “individual budgets in the $50 million range” over the next five years.

The titles — family-centric CGI-animated films and live-action features based on popular IP — will be fully financed by AMBI and Barajoun and co-developed between their two studios in Toronto and Dubai.

AMBI Distribution, AMBI’s sales arm, will oversee worldwide distribution for the new films and will also handle Bilal, Barajoun’s animated feature that recently bowed at the Dubai Film Festival. The pic, inspired by the true story of a historic African hero and featuring the voice of Suicide Squad star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, will be offered to buyers this week at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Following the launch of its AIC Studios in Toronto, AMBI has already revealed two upcoming 3D animated films: Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, featuring Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Heidi Klum and John Cleese among the voice cast; and Groove Tails, starring Jamie Foxx.

AMBI also has a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento and religious title Beyond the Sun, reported to feature the big-screen debut of Pope Francis, in the works.

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LamboVariety

Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s Ambi Group is developing a movie based on the life of Italian businessman Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the automaker of the same name.

Ambi, which has optioned the life rights, will finance and produce the film with plans to begin shooting this summer in Italy as well as other locations around the world. The film’s working title is “Lamborghini – The Legend.”

Lamborghini’s son Tonino is providing consultation. The film will cover the launch of Lamborghini’s career as a manufacturer of tractors, a creator of military vehicles during World War II and the designer of Lamborghini cars, which he launched in 1963 as the high-end sports car company Automobili Lamborghini.

He sold his automobile interests in the late 1970s and died in 1993.

“I am very proud to produce a film about an iconic man who had such a profound impact around the world, and left a legacy that lives on in such strong spirit,” said Andrea Iervolino. “Ferruccio Lamborghini was a pioneering businessman who brought honor to Italy and helped raise worldwide awareness for not just cars, but all products made in Italy. He started from scratch, relying only on his great passion and an unbridled desire to succeed in life – a desire he fulfilled.”

Ambi Distribution will handle worldwide sales rights on the film.

Films currently on Ambi’s slate are a remake of Christopher Nolan’s “Memento”; James Franco’s “In Dubious Battle”; family animated film “Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad”; “Septembers of Shiraz,” starring  Salma Hayek and Adrien Brody; contemporary fairy tale “This Beautiful Fantastic,” starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson; and sci-fi thriller “Rupture,” starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare.

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