All systems go for 'Rocket'


Palm Pictures scored all domestic rights to the hockey biopic "The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard," which won nine Canadian Genie Awards, including best director and actor.

Charles Biname's film follows the life of Maurice "The Rocket" Richard (Roy Dupuis), a Quebec factory worker who broke through discrimination against French Canadians in the 1940s and '50s to rise to the top of the NHL. The film, written by Ken Scott and produced by Daniel Louis and Denise Robert, features violent sports scenes in its re-creation of the era before helmets were used.

"Rocket" earned the Canadian equivalent of the Oscar this year for Biname, Dupuis, Julie LeBreton (as Richard's wife) and Stephen McHattie (as Richard's coach). It will be released late in the fall in U.S. theaters, followed by a DVD release in the winter.

Palm head of theatrical distribution Ed Arentz negotiated the deal with Emmanuelle Dessureault of Montreal-based FunFilm Distribution.