October 16, 2008–Mandalay Pictures and Steve Zaillian will produce the biopic “My Dinner With Herve” through their co-venture Film Rites, which has a first-look deal with Sony. Former journalist Sacha Gervasi, who will write and direct the film, conducted the last interview with French actor Herve Villechaize, Tattoo on the TV series “Fantasy Island,” just days before the actor committed suicide.
“Steve read the script as a short 10 years ago and always believed it would make a compelling feature,” Gervasi said. “Herve wasn¬ít just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I¬íve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world.”
“My Dinner With Herve” will be produced by Zaillian and exec produced by Mandate¬ís prexy Nathan Kahane. Film Rites¬í Garrett Basch and Mandate¬ís Tendo Nagenda will also serve in some producing capacity.
Mandate Intl. will handle foreign sales on the film. The film marks the first collaboration between Zaillian and Gervasi, who both have penned screenplays for Steven Spielberg, Gervasi wrote “The Terminal,” while Zaillian adapted “Schindler¬ís List.”
Gervasi made his directing debut with the music documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” which bowed at this year¬ís Sundance Film Festival.
Zaillian, who recently wrote “American Gangster,” launched Film Rites with Mandate last year to produce modestly budgeted, character-driven films, such as the drama “Close, Far Away” and the untitled Alexandra Pelosi project inspired by her HBO documentary “Journeys With George.”