Overture goes in for 'Righteous Kill'

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NEW YORK -- Overture Films has picked up all North American rights to "Righteous Kill," a $60 million thriller starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino as two detectives tracking a serial killer.

Rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is in final negotiations to co-star as a drug dealer who helps the detectives with their investigation. Director Jon Avnet is set to begin principal photography in Bridgeport, Conn., and New York in September.

"Kill" marks the biggest acquisition for Overture since CEO Chris McGurk and COO Danny Rosett founded the studio in the fall and carries a price tag near the top of the planned budget range for its inaugural slate. Russell Gewirtz ("Inside Man," "Labyrinth") is writing the screenplay, which has De Niro and Pacino onscreen together for nearly the entire film. The two longtime friends shared no screen time in 1974's "The Godfather: Part II" and only one scene in 1995's "Heat."

A Millenium Films production, "Kill" is being produced by Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Lati Grobman, Randall Emmett, Rob Cowan and Avnet. Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short will serve as exec producers. Overture executive vp production and acquisitions Sean Furst will oversee production for the distributor. Overture's parent company Starz will release the film on DVD and TV via its other distribution arms.

McGurk and Rosett negotiated on behalf of Overture with Lerner negotiating for Nu Image/Millennium.
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