Focus Features Acquires U.S. Rights to Edward Berger’s Upcoming Thriller Conclave

The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, Carlos Diehz, Lucian Msamati, Brían F. O’Byrne, Merab Ninidze, Sergio Castellitto, and Isabella Rossellini.

Focus Features has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Academy Award® winning filmmaker Edward Berger’s (All Quiet on the Western Front) new thriller, Conclave, produced by House Productions and FilmNation Entertainment. Peter Straughan wrote the script directed by Berger. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, Carlos Diehz, Lucian Msamati, Brían F. O’Byrne, Merab Ninidze, Sergio Castellitto, and Isabella Rossellini. Conclave is produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell for House Productions, Michael A. Jackman for FilmNation Entertainment, Robert Harris, and Alice Dawson, and was developed with the support of Access Entertainment. FilmNation Entertainment and Indian Paintbrush—with Steven Rales serving as Executive Producer—co-financed the film.

The papal conclave, held to elect a new Pope, is the world’s most secretive event. After the death of a beloved Pope, Cardinal Lawrence (Fiennes) is tasked with running this covert process inside the back corners of the Vatican. Lawrence quickly finds himself the center of a conspiracy, as the cardinals forge factions and rivalries to serve their own ambitions. As ambitions, divisions and scandals start to boil over and the political machinations inside the Vatican intensify, Lawrence realizes that the departed Pope had kept a secret from them that he must uncover before a new Pope is chosen.

Said Peter Kujawski, Chairman of Focus Features, “Edward Berger is a devilishly talented filmmaker who made our collective hearts race by showing us what happens to our better angels in those Machiavellian halls of power. We cannot wait to bring audiences to the edge of their seats with him and our friends at House Productions, Indian Paintbrush and FilmNation.”

“27 years ago, I landed my first job as an intern at the company that later became Focus. Ever since I left and embarked on the long path of making movies I have been wanting to return. To now work with Peter Kujawski and his incredibly dedicated team feels like I have arrived at a home that I‘ve always missed. I am grateful and so cannot wait to share the movie with audiences in the US as well as around the world at the hands of Focus and all our distribution partners,” said Edward Berger

Conclave is based on Robert Harris’ best-selling novel of the same name. Glen Basner, Alison Cohen, Milan Popelka, Ben Browning, Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen, Zoe Edwards, Harry Dixon, Paul Randle, Tomas Alfredson, Edward Berger, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Straughan, Robyn Slovo, Mario Gianani, and Lorenzo Gangarossa also executive produced.

The US sale was handled by CAA Media Finance, FilmNation Entertainment, and Indian Paintbrush. Internationally, the film will be released by Elevation in Canada, Black Bear in the UK, Dea Planeta in Spain, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Edko Films in Hong Kong, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Empire Entertainment in South Africa, Italia Films in the Middle East, Kino Film in Japan, Leonine in Germany, Lev in Israel, Nos Lusomundo in Portugal, Pioneer Films in the Philippines, PVR Pictures in India and Pakistan, Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand, Sam Film in Iceland, Shaw in Singapore, SND in France, Sun in LATAM, Tanweer in Greece, The Searchers in Benelux, Vertical in CEE, and ACME Film in the Baltics. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

Focus Features’ slate includes Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers starring Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, along with upcoming titles Drive-Away Dolls from Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke starring Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Beanie Feldstein, Back to Black about the life and music of Amy Winehouse from director Sam Taylor-Johnson, Robert Eggers’ reimagining of Nosferatu, which stars Bill Skarsgard, Lily Rose-Depp, Nicholas Hoult, Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Willem Dafoe, Baltasar Kormakur’s Touch, and Goran Stolevski’s new feature, Housekeeping for Beginners.