Luc Besson's 'Malavita' to Hit Theaters October 2013 (Exclusive)

4:44 PM PST 10/16/2012 by Pamela McClintock, Borys Kit
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Luc Besson

Relativity Media also is pushing up the release of the comedy "21 and Over" by two weeks to March 1. The news comes one day after "Elysium" moved off the date.

Adding to its 2013 slate, Relativity Media will open director-writer Luc Besson's darkly comedic mafia pic Malavita on Oct. 18. The studio also is moving up the release of comedy 21 and Over by two weeks to March 1, taking advantage of Elysium vacating off the date.

Malavita, based on the book Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista and adapted by Besson for the big screen, stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo.

The story follows the Manzonis, a notorious crime family who are relocated to Normandy, France, under the witness protection program. They do their best to fit in, but old habits die hard, and soon they find themselves handling things the "family" way.

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"Luc Besson has pulled together a fantastic cast in Malavita in what promises to be an action-packed and humorous film," Relativity president of worldwide distribution Kyle Davies said. "We're very excited to give this a home in the fall where audiences crave both witty and exciting fare."

Malavita will open in the same corridor that has been so prosperous for another Besson project -- Fox and EuropaCorp's Taken 2, which opened this month and quickly transformed into a hit.

Besson -- who produced and co-wrote Taken 2 -- and his EuropaCorp have a two-picture deal with Relativity; the second film is an untitled Kevin Costner thriller directed by McG.

Virginie-Silla Besson is producing Malavita, while Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley are executive producers.

Relativity also has high hopes for 21 and Over, whose cast includes Miles Teller (Project X), Justin Chon (the Twilight franchise) and Skylar Astin, who is generating buzz for his performance in the Universal musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

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21 and Over follows a straight-A college student and medical school hopeful whose 21st birthday turns into chaos and debauchery. The film now will open on the same weekend that sleeper hit Project X -- a found-footage high school comedy -- opened in 2012. Relativity jumped at the chance to move to March 1 after Sony and TriStar moved Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi pic Elysium from that date to Aug. 9. March 2012 also turned out another youth-skewing hit: 21 Jump Street.

Davies said that 21 and Over has enjoyed strong test screenings. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore directed and wrote; David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Kavanaugh produced.

Relativity's other 2013 films include Movie 43 (Jan. 25), Safe Haven (Feb. 8), Paranoia (Oct. 4) and Out of the Furnace (fall 2013).

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