U.K.'s Optimum boosts release slate

Including titles from StudioCanal's deal with Spyglass

LONDON -- StudioCanal-owned U.K. distributor Optimum Releasing is enjoying having a well-heeled owner.

The British-based label is bolstering its release slate with a slew of movies for 2010 and beyond including a brace of titles through StudioCanal's deal with Spyglass Entertainment.

Optimum has gone down on bended knee for Anand Tucker's romcom "Leap Year," which follows one woman's quest to marry the perfect man starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, from Spyglass.

Also from the U.S. production banner comes "The Tourist," based on Jerome Salle's book "Anthony Zimmer" and produced by Graham King, greenlit to shoot in 2010. From writers Julian Fellowes, William Wheeler, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Christopher McQuarrie, the cast includes Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The film tells the story of an American tourist used by an Interpol agent in an attempt to flush out a criminal with whom she once had an affair.

Optimum is also feeling the love from the French group's deal with Dark Castle and will distribute the Jaume Collet-Serra helmed thriller "Unknown White Male," set for production in the first quarter 2010 and starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and January Jones. After a bad car accident, a man finds that someone else has assumed his identity and that no one else, including his wife, seems to know who he is.

The second Dark Castle title to hit U.K. theaters via Optimum will be "The Losers," an adaptation of the DC Vertigo comic story, which follows a CIA black-ops team who are betrayed and left for dead on a mission gone wrong. Produced by Joel Silver, the movie is directed by Sylvain White and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Chris Evans and Zoe Saldana.

Also slated is Duncan Jones's sci-fi pic "Source Code," the first title to emerge from StudioCanal's partnership with Vendome Pictures. Set for production in March next year, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal and details the story of a man forced to relive a train bombing from the point of view of a stranger until he can figure out who is responsible.

But it's not all about StudioCanal relationships for the London label. It has also secured U.K. rights to Daniel Monzon's Spanish action drama "Cell 21" starring Carlos Bardem, Luis Tosar and Marta Etura and Joon Ho Bong 's "Mother," which premiered in Un Certain Regard during Cannes this year. The film was acquired from CJ Entertainment.

And it scared up U.K. rights to Sean Byrne's debut, the Aussie horror "The Loved Ones," starring Xavier Samuel, Victoria Thaine and Jessica McNamee from sales banner Arclight.

"This is our strongest and most varied lineup to date, " said Optimum CEO Will Clarke. "It is very pleasing to see the positive effects of working so closely with the StudioCanal European network."
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