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Phase 4 nabs rights to 50 Cent film

Company plans to release 'Dead Man Running' this year

Phase 4 Films is picking up the pace.

The new distribution company, which last year released "50 Dead Men Walking," has acquired North American rights to the action thriller "Dead Man Running," starring rapper-actor Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. The company plans to release the film this year.

Tamer Hassan, Danny Dyer, Brenda Blethyn and Monet Mazur also star in the story of an ex-con (Hassan) given 24 hours to pay back a loan shark (Jackson). Alex De Rakoff ("The Calcium Kid") directed.

" 'Dead Man Running' is a heart-pounding, fast-paced adrenaline rush with 50 Cent, who once again proves how multitalented he is, adept in crossing over from music to movies," Phase 4 president and CEO Berry Meyerowitz said.

The deal was negotiated by Meyerowitz and Larry Greenberg of Phase 4 with Simon Barnes of London-based Park Entertainment and producer Alan Latham. Park retains the international sales rights.

Phase 4 released "Valentino: The Last Emperor" last year in Canada, and it has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to Brigitte Berman's documentary "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel," the Sundance indie "The Freebie" and the romantic comedy "Finding Bliss."