Lionsgate, Twisted attend 'Opera'

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BERLIN -- Lionsgate has pacted with production banner Twisted Pictures for Darren Lynn Bousman's latest horror outing "Repo! The Genetic Opera."

Lionsgate and Twisted teamed on the boxoffice franchise success "Saw."

In a separate development, Lionsgate also has picked up U.S. rights to Roger Donaldson's "The Bank Job," starring Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows.

Bousman will direct "Repo" from an original story by co-composers and screenwriters Terrence Zdunich and Darren Smith. Bousman, director of "Saw 2" and "Saw 3," will reunite with his collaborators on those two titles, the Twisted Pictures team of Mark Burg and Oren Koules, who will produce the film.

Bousman's next horror film was announced to buyers here by Lionsgate president of international sales Stephanie Denton and Twisted's Burg and Koules.

Lionsgate took on sales duties after seeing a 12-minute promo reel that Bousman had created in half a day, Lionsgate said. The deal was handled by Lionsgate's Denton, president acquisitions and co-productions Peter Block and executive vp acquisitions Jason Constantine.

Lionsgate will distribute the title in the U.S. and the U.K. as well as handle international sales in the rest of the world.

Bousman, repped by Endeavor, described "Repo" as his "passion" since the day he read the script.

"I had been waiting for the right opportunity to make it into a feature." he said. "I couldn't be in a better position as Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate have become family. They are not scared to take risks and they stand behind their filmmakers."

The new film is set in the not-so-distant future, where an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet. As scientists make plans for a massive organ harvest, a multibillion-dollar biotech company manufactures salvation -- but for a price, offering easy organ payment plans.

The idea for the feature originated when Bousman directed the first theater run of "Repo! The Genetic Opera" in fall 2002 after meeting with Zdunich and Smith and reading their original stage play.

Meanwhile, "Bank Job," it is billed as a sexy thriller written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and produced by Mosaic Media Group's Charles Roven and Steven Chasman.

The executive producers are George McIndoe, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Alper, Gary Hamilton, Alex Gartner, Alan Glazer and Christopher Mapp. Relativity Media and the Omnilab Media Group of Australia are bankrolling the film.

Arclight is the international sales agent in Berlin for the movie, which is based on a daring unsolved robbery that took place in 1971 in London.

The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Block, vp acquisitions Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe, senior vp legal and business affairs, acquisitions, as well as by Relativity Media's Aaron Michiel, on behalf of the filmmakers.

In production in the U.K., shooting is due to end in March.

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