Naomi Watts (AP)
Naomi Watts is set to headline “Infinite Storm,” the highly anticipated film from Polish helmer Malgorzata Szumowska (“Never Gonna Snow Again”), with Bleecker Street and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions on board.
Bleecker Street will take U.S. rights while Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions is handling international rights on the film. Production will begin later this month.
“Infinite Storm” is written by Josh Rollins, and based on Ty Gagne’s article “High Places: Footprints in the Snow Lead to an Emotional Rescue,” about the story of Pam Bales, a mother, nurse and mountain guide who was on a solitary trek up Mount Washington when she got caught in a blizzard, leading to the daring rescue of a stranger.
“Infinite Storm” is being produced by Maven Screen Media’s Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler and Jenny Halper with Naomi Watts for JamTart Productions, as well as Peter and Michael Sobiloff. Executive producers are Nic Marshall, Josh Rollins, Malgorzata Szumowska, Jason De Beer, Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson.
“This story begins as one woman’s journey for self-discovery and turns into a harrowing tale of survival. We are proud to bring Pam Bales’ dramatic and emotional venture to the big screen,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street.
Szumowska’s latest film, “Never Gonna Snow Again,” is Poland’s candidate for the Oscars’ international feature film race. She previously won the Teddy Award in Berlin for “In The Name Of” in 2013, the Berlinale Silver Bear for “Body” in 2015 and the Berlinale’s Grand Jury Prize for “Mug” in 2017. The Polish helmer also directed “The Other Lamb” with Raffey Cassidy and Michiel Huisman.
“I’m delighted to be working with such great partners as Sony, Bleecker, Maven, and, of course with Naomi Watts whom I have admired and wanted to work with for a long time,” said Szumowska. “Pam is a rare and courageous woman whose journey is gripping and hopeful. Josh has crafted a strong and emotional story about the will to survive, which is so needed in these dark times. I cannot wait to get started.”
“Infinite Storm” also reunites Szumowska with her frequent cinematographer, Michal Englert, who is a co-director on the project.
Rollins, who penned “Infinite Storm,” is an established playwright who previously worked as a guide on Mount Washington and Franconia Ridge — an experience that drew him to the project.
The deal was brokered by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy of Bleecker Street and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions with UTA. Watts, who currently stars in “Penguin Bloom” for Netflix, is represented by CAA, Untitled and attorney Steve Warren.
Szumowska is with UTA and Casarotto Ramsay. Josh is with Chris Abramson at Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson, Sandra Lucchesi at Gersh and Nicholas Bogner at Affirmative Entertainment.
Variety's Elsa Keslassy contributed to this post.