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CASANOVA

About The Production
With CASANOVA, Academy Award®- nominated director Lasse Hallström ("The Cider House Rules,” "Chocolat”) creates a sharp, sophisticated modern comedy from the long-running legend of Giacomo Casanova, the Renaissance-era spy, soldier, writer, philosopher and adventurer who became famed as a notorious lover of women. Though Casanova's life and loves have been explored in dozens of screen incarnations, he has never been seen in so essentially human a predicament: befuddled by his stolen heart and trying to become a better man in his own clever fashion. The film is at once the director's most delightfully romantic and comedic work to date—as well as a playful exploration into the timeless conflicts between repression and sensuality, disguises and identity, desire and love.

Key to the vision for the film was creating a Casanova with a contemporary edge: youthful, accessible and emotionally true-to-life. Running away with this imaginative concept, the film's screenwriters bring forth a very different view of Casanova's myth. Here, Casanova is not only a dashing rebel and wit, but also a vulnerable man who is chasing after love as Bishop Pucci (Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons) of the Inquisition chases after him. Caught up in a comic whirl of disguises, duels, deceit and love-struck desire, Casanova begins to see the vital difference between the allure of conquest and the power of true love.

A Touchstone Pictures release, CASANOVA is directed by Lasse Hallström from a story by Kimberly Simi and Michael Cristofer and a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher and Kimberly Simi. The cast includes Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt and Lena Olin. The producers are Mark Gordon, Betsy Beers and Leslie Holleran. Executive producers are Su Armstrong, Adam Merims and Gary Levinsohn.

A highly accomplished team of visual artists bring 18th Century Venice to life from a fresh, light-hearted perspective in CASANOVA, including acclaimed director of photography Oliver Stapleton ("The Cider House Rules”), Academy Award®-nominated production designer David Gropman ("Chocolat”), editor Andrew Mondshein and Academy Award®-winning costume designer and four-time Academy Award® nominee Jenny Beavan ("A Room With A View,” "Sense and Sensibility,” "Remains of the Day”).

The notion of the world's greatest lover falling head over heels for a woman who considers him unworthy—and setting out on the ultimate romantic quest of his life— was first imagined by screenwriter Kimberly Simi. Simi's early draft of CASANOVA drew the attention of producer Leslie Holleran, whose long-time collaboration with Lasse Hallström has included such films as "The Cider House Rules,” "Chocolat” and "The Shipping News.” Knowing Hallström's work so intimately, Holleran knew that CASANOVA would be an exciting change of pace, allowing the director the chance to push into brand-new directions.

"Lasse has always been known for his unfailing sense of human nature and for being an extraordinary observer of the small moments in life,” Holleran notes. "Now he takes on a larger story full of romance, mischief and humor—but with that same empathy for people and that same fascination with the reasons why people do the things that they do.” Down the road, the screenplay was purchased for the Mark Gordon Company to produce, and Gordon, too, was quickly smitten with the story's potential.

"We felt this story would bring a contemporary and comic spin to the famous tale,” recalls Gordon. "What I thought was so wonderful about this CASANOVA is that you have this great lover who manages to completely lose his heart—yet to the only woman who won't succumb to his charms. There's so much going against these two coming together that Casanova has to wage a tremendous and very funny battle in the name of love. From Kim's original

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