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3 YEARS

Screen Gems to Distribute Teen Sci-Fi Adventure 'Attack the Block'

Joe Cornish’s strong debut recently won the 2011 SXSW Audience Award.

Attack The Block

One of the most fun sci-fi movies in years will finally be seen by U.S. audiences.

Screen Gems has picked up the US distribution rights to Attack the BlockJoe Cornish’s strong debut teen sci-fi adventure that recently won the 2011 SXSW Audience Award.   Cornish is best known for is work with Edgar Wright; Wright was one of the exec producers. Nira Park and James Wilson produced the movie.    Block follows a gang of tough inner-city kids who rob a young woman (Jodie Whittaker) as she is walking home in a scary South London tower block.  She escapes when the gang is attacked by a small alien creature which falls from the sky. A second wave of creatures falls, this time bigger and more savage with the gang, who being hunted by the woman and the police, becomes the city’s unlikely heroes as the teen grab weapons, mount bikes, and set out to defend their turf.   Said Screen Gems head Clint Culpepper, “(Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions President) Steve Bersch screened this film for me and I fell completely in love with it.  The film is, at once, charming, scary, funny, hip, clever and completely hits its mark. I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with these incredibly talented filmmakers.”   The film was co-developed and financed by StudioCanal, Film4 and the UK Film Council, with StudioCanal handling worldwide sales and releasing in the UK through its company Optimum on May 11.   The movie, which balances fun with thrills and harkens back to flicks like Gremlins and Goonies, quickly found a strong following among the town’s execs. There was some concern among some U.S. buyers about the thickness of the accents, something the movie wears as a badge of honor for sticking to the authenticity of the London scene, but Screen Gems boldly looked past that even as others didn’t.