Cannes: Garry Marshall to Direct 'Royal Ice' About Monaco Bobsledding Team (Exclusive)

Garry Marshall has come on board to directRoyal Ice, an account of Prince Albert’s quest to form Monaco’s first Olympic competitive bobsledding team that Aldamisa Entertainment is producing with the cooperation of the Prince, Monaco’s reigning monarch.

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The veteran director, repped by ICM Partners,RPMedia and Gendler & Kelly, whose credits range from Pretty Woman to The Princess Diaries, will do a rewrite of the original script by Marc C. Thomas and the Prince himself. With production aiming for a November start, the project, which is being shopped in the market, is expected to become the first motion picture to film in the Palace of Monaco, the Grimaldi family’s official residence.

“This story is an entertaining adventure about teamwork, big dreams and courage, featuring thrilling footage of the sport of bobsledding, as well as a great love story with some close-up looks at the world of Monaco's royal family. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Prince of Monaco and Garry Marshall on the same project,” Sergei Bespalov, Aldamisa co-chairman, said. “We at Aldamisa are thrilled to work with our financing partners WeatherVane Productions and Vandermolen Film Co. to bring this film to the big screen.”

Bespalov and Alexey Petrukhin are producing. Executive producers include Marina Bespalov, who also serves as a co-chairman of Aldamisa, Charlie DombekOleg BoykoJohn BernardMark ThomasJason Van EmanRoss MarossoBen McConleyLee Vandermolen and Alastair Burlingham.

The profile of the L.A.-based Aldamisa, which the Bespalovs formed in 2011, got a boost last year with the indie success of Jon Favreau’s Chef, which grossed more than $50 million worldwide. “In the past two years, we’ve learned a valuable lesson,” Sergei Bespalov told THR. “Instead of sitting and waiting for agents to sent us what everybody’s past on, we’ve started buying scripts. We’re looking for inventive stories, true stories. We’re now both financiers and creative producers.”

With a staff of 12 — which includes CEO Tim Swain, head of sales Eric Min and head of production Jim Brubaker — Aldamisa is focusing on movies in the $10-30 million range and reports it now has 17 projects in development. Ben Poole’s Blacklisted-script Americatown, which imagines an America taken over by the Chinese, is at the top of its list, and Aldamisa also is in discussions with both Imax and Relativity about future projects.

Aldamisa also is co-producing Viy 2: Journey to China, the sequel to Viy, which was the top-grossing local film in Russia in 2014. Putrukhin is producing with investments from The China Film Group and Jackie Chan JCE.