Magnolia Pictures announced today the acquisitions of Nicolas Winding Refn's "The Pusher Trilogy," comprised of three feature films: "Pusher," "With Blood on My Hands," and "The Angel of Death." Set in the Danish underworld, the overlapping stories feature actors who were once actual criminals. Supporting characters in one film appear as lead actors on the next. The first film was completed in 1996, but the entire trilogy screened together for the first time at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.
"These three films are superlative, accessible entertainments and a complete revelation for me," said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles, in a statement. "The characters and milieu are indelible, and both individually and as a whole, the 'Pusher' movies represent a major film achievement."
Bowles along with the company's head of acquisitions Tom Quinn and head of business affairs Jason Janego negotiated the deal with Sanne Arlo of Nordisk Film Sales. The trilogy has been sold to more than 25 territories and a Summer '06 release is planned in the United States, with Magnolia hoping to release all three movies together in domestic venues.
"Like French films did in the '60s, or Italian films in the '70s, or Asian films of the '80s, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that European genre films like 'The Pusher Trilogy' are finally attracting the attention of American distributors like Magnolia Pictures," said Refn in a statement. "I think there's a definite cult following for this kind of film. And ultimately it's a very familiar reworking of a universal story: 'Hamlet,' the greatest Danish story ever told. People come up to me all the time quoting the film in Danish. Even people who don't speak Danish."
The acquisition is not the first time that Magnolia has released a trio of films by a director. Two years ago the company released Lucas Belvaux's "The Trilogy". Magnolia, wholly owned by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, is currently releasing Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble" and has recently released "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," as well as "Woman Thou Art Loosed" and "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior." Cuban and Wagner also own Landmark Theaters, HDNet Films and 2929 Entertainment.