Neon, StudioCanal, and Blueprint Pictures are working together to create a narrative remake of the critically acclaimed documentary The Painter and the Thief, from director Benjamin Ree. The documentary follows a Czech painter who seeks out and befriends the career criminal who had stolen two of her paintings.
It premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Storytelling. The Painter and the Thief also went on to win Best Documentary Feature at the BFI London Film Festival, as well as receive two Critic’s Choice Award nominations.
Neon, who acquired the rights after the film’s premiere at Sundance, held a bidding war for the project, which was won by StudioCanal and Blueprint. The project currently has no writer, director, or cast attached, so it’s unclear when we’ll see the narrative remake released.
The documentary currently holds a certified fresh critic score of 97% with 98 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The website’s critic consensus calls it “a compelling portrait of compassion and forgiveness.”
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal on behalf of Neon. Shana Eddy, Rachel Henochsberg and Vanessa Saunoi taking the reins on behalf of StudioCanal, and Diarmuid McKeown on behalf of Blueprint.