In Advance of Publication, Veteran Film Producer Martin Poll Snags Fiercely Competitive Motion Picture Rights to Sourcebooks' Vatican Drama The Last Pope

Sex, Politics & Betrayal: Timely Tome Due in Book Form March 9

Mar 05, 2004, 00:00 ET from Sourcebooks

    NEW YORK, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone in Rome is talking about the
 next pope and has been for months.
     Veteran film producer Martin Poll, who famously sued Fox Studios in excess
 of $100 million, has acquired, at a particularly delicate moment in Vatican
 history, the film rights to Sourcebooks' upcoming book The Last Pope.
     Poll's company, MC2 Ventures LLC, has formally acquired the motion picture
 rights to David Osborn's novel. Cindy Adams featured the deal in her
 nationally syndicated column Thursday.
     Among the films produced by Poll is the award-winning The Lion in Winter,
 which starred Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy
 Dalton. It garnered nine Academy Award nominations and three awards, and Poll
 received the Italian David Di Donatello award.
     Osborn originally set out to write a completely different book, he says,
 but while doing research at the British Library in London, he stumbled on to
 research about the Vatican and its long political history that captivated him.
 What started out as one book became The Last Pope.
     In this profoundly moving novel from the veteran author, all the secret
 voting intricacies of a papal conclave are revealed for the first time as well
 as the cutthroat politics between the various factions among the Cardinals,
 each vying to promote its favorite and pitting the forces of reaction and
 humanity once again in moral battle.
     Reminiscent of Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose and Daphne du Maurier's
 The House On The Strand, The Last Pope is a gripping blend of history,
 politics, religion, mystery and human foibles and relationships.
     David Osborn's many novels have been published by companies such as
 Bantam, Doubleday and Simon and Schuster and have been translated in more than
 fifteen languages.
     He has written more than twenty screenplays for studios including Warner
 Bros., Columbia and MGM, including two adaptations of Agatha Christie novels.
 The Trap (1966-Columbia), for which Osborn wrote the screenplay, was nominated
 for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
     Poll serves as an executive producer of a remake of The Lion in Winter,
 starring Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close, for Hallmark and Showtime for
 release this year. Some of his other films include Nighthawks, Woody Allen's
 Love and Death and My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.

SOURCE Sourcebooks