AFM: Lionsgate Takes U.S. Rights to Liam Neeson's 'The Commuter,' 'Our Kind of Traitor'

The StudioCanal thrillers will receive theatrical releases as part of deals inked in Santa Monica.

Lionsgate has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to two thrillers from StudioCanal, The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson, and Our Kind of Traitor, starring Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis.

The deals stems from a distribution pact that sees the French-based studio distribute Lionsgate films in Germany, and Lionsgate handle the StudioCanal titles in North America. The Commuter has Neeson playing an ordinary businessman on his daily commute home, only to get caught up in a criminal conspiracy with life and death consequences.

Byron Willinger and Phil de Blasi co-wrote The Commuter, which is produced by The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, with StudioCanal financing. The second thriller, Our Kind of Traitor, stars McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damien Lewis and Naomie Harris, and is based on John Le Carre's 22nd novel about a left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend on a Caribbean holiday, where they bump into a Russian oligarch.

That encounter sends them on a tortuous European journey amid the Russian mafia and Britain's Secret Service. Susanna White will direct Our Kind of Traitor, with The Ink Factory and Potboiler Productions producing.

Theatrical releases are in the works for both StudioCanal titles, with Roadside Attractions set to release Our Kind of Traitor in mid-2016, and The Commuter to get a planned wide release in summer 2017. The U.S. distribution deals were unveiled at AFM by Lionsgate co-COO and motion picture group president Steve Beeks and StudioCanal president of international distribution and marketing Rodolphe Buet.

Updated, Nov. 6, 15:40 p.m. New details on theatrical release plans for the StudioCanal titles added.

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