Berlin 2013: Jeremy Renner's Gary Webb Biopic 'Kill the Messenger' Sells Out

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Kurt Iswarienko

Renner will play a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was found dead after being denounced for exposing the CIA's controversial involvement in Nicaragua.

BERLIN -- Jeremy Renner thriller Kill the Messenger, the biopic of disgraced journalist Gary Webb, has been a top seller at the European Film Market in Berlin.
Focus Features International co-president Alison Thompson said Monday that rights to distribute the movie have been snapped up by buyers across the globe. Director Michael Cuesta begins shooting Kill the Messenger in the summer from a script by Peter Landesman.

Focus boarded the project on the eve of the European Film Market in Berlin and will release the film in the U.S. (The project previously was set up at Focus parent company Universal.)

Kill the Messenger is based on the true story of  Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Webb, who committed suicide after being denounced for exposing the CIA's controversial involvement in helping Nicaragua's Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s.

Renner, who will play Webb, and Don Handfield will produce via their production company The Combine alongside Scott Stuber.

Universal has retained rights to the U.K., Germany and Scandinavia.

Focus International has also sold the film to Metropolitan in France, Bim in Italy, DeA Planeta in Spain, Top Films in Russia, Imagen in Latin America, A Film in Bulgaria, Blue Sky Media in the Czech Republic, Shani in Israel, Golden Screen in Malaysia, Shaw in Singapore and Ster Kinekor in South Africa, among other territory deals.