MADRID -- Barcelona-based producer Zip Films has taken a minority co-production stake on Killer Films' $20 million film project "Betsy and the Emperor."
Pic is based on a children's book published in 2004 by New York writer Staton Rabin, previously set up at Warner Bros. kids unit Storyopolis.
Helmed by John Curran (The Painted Veil), "Betsy" has Al Pacino attached to limn Napoleon Bonaparte while Dakota Fanning will play 14-year-old British girl Betsy Balcombe, whose family entertained Bonaparte at their home on the Atlantic island of St. Helena.
"Betsy's" studio shoot will roll early 2010 in the U.S. According to Zip Films producer Jordi Rediu, Zip is now scouting for locations in Spain to re-create St. Helena, where Napoleon spent the last days of his life.
Zip has taken all rights for Spain, Portugal and Andorra.
Zip's co-production deal was inked by Adi Cohen and Joseph Grinkorn's New York-based capital risk company GC Group, owner of the "Betsy" film and stage adaptation rights.