Focus Features has officially acquired the North American theatrical distribution rights to the upcoming Vatican-set thriller titled Conclave. It follows a cardinal embroiled in a conspiracy during the papal conclave.

The project hails from acclaimed filmmaker Edward Berger, fresh off of 2022’s award-winning remake of All Quiet on the Western Front.

“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,” Berger said in a statement. “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.”

What is Conclave about?

Based on Robert Harris’ best-selling novel, Conclave is directed by Berger from a screenplay written by Peter Straughan. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, Carlos Diehz, Lucian Msamati, Brían F. O’Byrne, Merab Ninidze, Sergio Castellitto, and Isabella Rossellini.

“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,” reads the synopsis. “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.”

Executive producers are Steven Rales, 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. It is produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell for House Productions, Michael A. Jackman for FilmNation Entertainment, Robert Harris, and Alice Dawson.

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