'Blood Simple' remake lands at SPC

Zhang Yimou sets Chinese-language version of film

Sony Pictures Classics is going simple.

The specialty banner has boarded Zhang Yimou's Chinese-language remake of the Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple," signing on to produce the film and acquiring distribution rights in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Yimou is the Chinese auteur known for films such as "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers;" he also won a Peabody for his designing of the opening and closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics last year. SPC has released 10 of his films previously.

The announcement kicked off a busy day of dealmaking in the indie world, which also saw Magnolia acquire North American rights to the late Adrienne Shelly's black comedy "Serious Moonlight" and Oscilloscope buying the Danish film "Terribly Happy," which has drawn comparisons to "Blood Simple."

Cheryl Hines' directorial debut based on Shelly's script, "Moonlight" centers on a woman who holds her husband hostage until he promises to love her forever. Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton star. Magnolia said it will release it on-demand about a month ahead of a December theatrical release.

And Oscilloscope announced it has picked up North American rights to "Happy," Henrik Ruben Genz's dark and at times bloody tale about a Cophenhagen police officer who moves to a small town only to get involved with a married woman. Comparing the movie to "Blood Simple," Oscilloscope said the pic contains a "macabre vision of the darkest depths to which people will go to achieve a sense of security and belonging."