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by Peter Knegt
November 3, 2010 2:29 AM
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Lionsgate and IM Global Ink Three Picture Deal

Lionsgate has announced that it has finalized U.S. distribution deals for three action pictures with worldwide sales and financing company IM Global. The announcement was jointly made by Joe Drake, Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President, and Stuart Ford, IM Global Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

"We have long admired the forward-thinking approach of IM Global and are thrilled to be partnering with them and Reliance. 'Safe,' 'Dredd,' and 'Protection' are genre films at their best, with charismatic stars, compelling stories and intense action." said Jason Constantine, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, in a statement.

Said Ford: "Lionsgate is the perfect distributor for the kind of action driven films we're currently focusing our production and financing energies on. As they proved with 'The Expendables' recently, nobody reaches this target audience better, and we're looking forward to working alongside Joe Drake and his team on all three campaigns".

The first title planned to be released under the deal is the action/thriller 'Safe.' Currently in production, the $30 million film stars Jason Statham and is written and directed by Boaz Yakin. The film is produced by Lawrence Bender Productions and Trigger Street Productions and is financed by IM Global.

Starting production on November 12 in Cape Town is 'Dredd,' the 3D adaptation of the cult 2000 AD comic series. Karl Urban stars as "Judge Dredd" with Pete Travis directing and DNA Films from the UK producing alongside writer Alex Garland.

IM Global is currently planning a March 2011 production start date on 'Protection,' an action thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, directed by Simon West and produced by Robert Lawrence, Gordon Gray, and IM Global CEO Ford. The film will shoot in New Mexico.

Brian Kavanaugh Jones of Automatik, IM Global's production joint venture with Alliance Pictures is an Executive Producer on "Safe" and will render similar services on "Protection". The Canadian company is a multi-territory distribution partner on all three films.

The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Constantine, Eda Kowan, Lionsgate Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs, Acquisitions and Co-Productions; and by Ford and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Kendra Dousette on behalf of IM Global.

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