In a pre-Toronto festival move, Richard Gere has signed to star in indie drama "Franny," re-teaming with "Arbitrage" producer Treehouse Pictures.

Production will start in October, with QED launching international sales at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Gere portrays a hedonistic philanthropist who ingratiates himself into the lives of a newlywed couple in order to recreate the life he once had.

Andrew Renzi is directing from his own script, which he developed at this year's Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He directed a the shorts "Karaoke!" and "The Fort," which premiered at Sundance this year and last year, respectively.

"Franny" producers are Treehouse Pictures, TideRock Media's Thomas B. Fore and Jason Michael Berman, and Big Shoes Media's Jay Schuminsky. Exec producers are Magnolia Entertainment's Shelley Browning and Michael Diamond, Soaring Flight Productions' Ruth Mutch and QED's John Friedberg.

TideRock Media, which is co-financing, is represented by WME Global. Gere is represented by WME and attorney Barry Hirsch. Renzi is represented by CAA, Washington Square Arts and attorney Linda Lichter.


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