John Travolta (Grease) and Katherine Heigl (Firefly Lane) have boarded the rom-com That’s Amore!, written and to be directed by two-time Academy Award winner Nick Vallelonga (Green Book), with Christopher Walken (Severance) also in talks to star.
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The film heading into production in August follows Nick Venere (Travolta), who is a modern-day ‘Marty’ – he’s never been married and his best dating years are well behind him. He’s never heard the words ‘I love you” and figures he never will. Patty Amore (Heigl) has her share of problems, as well. Shy and introverted, she’s filled with various tics and nervous habits. A secret from her past, combined with her over-protective father, have caused her to withdraw from the dating game. But when Nick and Patty meet, literally bumping into one another, they share an immediate connection. When these two emotionally damaged people attempt to date one another, their families get involved, and the results are hilarious.
Vallelonga will produce through his Vallelonga Productions, alongside Cassian Elwes for Elevated FIlms, and Brenda Emmett & Vince Emmett of American Troubadours. David Polemeni will exec produce alongside Tamara Birkemoe and Mark Damon of the newly-launched global sales banner Palisades Park Pictures, who will introduce the film to international buyers at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Elwes will co-represent U.S. rights with PPP.
Others aboard the project include two-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Dante Spinotti (The Last of the Mohicans), Academy Award-winning production designer Gianni Quaranta (A Room with a View), three-time Academy Award-nominated editor Steven Rosenblum (Braveheart) and costume designer Betsy Heimann (Green Book).
“We could not be more excited to announce That’s Amore! as the first title on PPP’s slate,” said CEO Tamara Birkemoe. “This film’s unparalleled star power and endearing, romantic charm is a testament to the quality of films that PPP will continue to present to buyers at forthcoming film markets.”
Recently landing his third Emmy nomination for a role in The Roku Channel’s Die Hart, Travolta prior to that starred on the TV side in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The actor, who has also been recognized over the course of his career with two Academy Award noms, two Golden Globes, and numerous other accolades is best known on the film side for turns in Pulp Fiction, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Carrie, Get Shorty, Michael and Hairspray, among other iconic projects.
Perhaps best known for her Emmy-winning role as Grey’s Anatomy‘s Dr. Izzie Stevens, Heigl has previously starred in four romantic comedies that grossed over $100M at the worldwide box office — Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth and Life as We Know It. Since 2021, she has exec produced and starred in the popular Netflix series Firefly Lane.
Notable film credits for Walken, the Academy Award winner who can currently be seen starring in Apple TV+’s Severance, include The Deer Hunter, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill, King of New York, Pulp Fiction, Sleepy Hollow, Catch Me If You Can, Wedding Crashers and Hairspray.
Vallelonga won his two Oscars, along with a Golden Globe and other prizes, as the writer and producer of Universal Pictures’ Best Picture victor Green Book, based on the true story of his father, Tony Lip, which grossed over $321M worldwide. He’s also an actor, who most recently appeared in the Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark.
Travolta is represented by Artists First, Randi Michel and Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp; Heigl by CAA, Mainstay Entertainment and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Walken by CAA; and Vallelonga by Gersh and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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