Par Classics will 'Focus' on photog's helming bow
Pic adapated by Lascelles from Miller novel

March 28, 2001 - By Dana Harris

This article was amended on Jan. 1, 2001.

Paramount Classics has acquired "Focus," the feature directorial debut of award-winning photographer Neal Slavin, for North America and multiple international territories.

Adapted by Kendrew Lascelles from the Arthur Miller novel of the same name, pic stars William H. Macy, Laura Dern, David Paymer and Meat Loaf Aday.

Set in New York during the height of WWII, "Focus" recounts the unraveling of an American community when the identity of a man (Macy) and his wife (Dern) are mistaken.

Par Classics plans to release "Focus" domestically in early fall. Company also picked up distribution rights for Latin America, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. Balance of the world will be sold by Yoram Pelman's Tomorrow Films.

Media entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg personally financed the entire project and produced "Focus" with Robert A. Miller and Slavin. Thomas D. Adelman is the co-producer and line producer. Kip Konwiser is also a co-producer.

Jonathan Dana brokered the deal, with Mark Halloran of Erickson, Halloran and Small serving as distribution counsel.

Slavin's photography is included in permanent collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA. He has published three books of his work, most recently "Britons."

Bloomberg founded information, news and media company Bloomberg LP in 1981. This is his first and only involvement with film production.

The son of Arthur Miller, Robert A. Miller produced the film version of "The Crucible" along with multiple national and international television commercials as well as musicvideos and stage plays.