De Palma pic 'Redacted' on Optimum slate


London-based indie distributor Optimum, now owned by Canal Plus, snared U.K. rights to Brian De Palma's Iraq War thriller "Redacted" from New York-based producer and broadcaster HDNet Films.

The Brit company also snaffled U.K. rights to Alex Gibney's documentary "Hunter S. Thompson" about the cult hero gonzo journalist.

De Palma's movie recounts the story of a group of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and is produced by HDNet Films co-presidents Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, along with The Film Farm's Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss. The film is currently in pre-production and will start shooting in April, HDNet said.

"Thompson" is billed as the first documentary to examine the life of Thompson. Directed by Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room") and produced by HDNet Films Kliot and Vicente with Graydon Carter, the film aims to draw on over 200 hours of home movie and documentary footage that Thompson's family granted the filmmakers.

"Both films will give audiences an exciting new perspective on a talented artist," Optimum managing director Will Clarke said.

Clarke described "Redacted" as "a major departure from De Palma's recent big budget work" while "Hunter" is likely to give "unprecedented insight into the life of a modern legend."

HDNet Films Co-Presidents Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente added: "We are thrilled that Optimum has chosen to bring these films to the U.K. Both serve as fascinating comments on modern journalism, and we believe they should be seen by as wide of an audience as possible."

HDNet Films International chief Laird Adamson negotiated the deals with Clarke.

"Thompson" is produced in association with BBC's Storyville and Magnolia Pictures is distributing both titles in the U.S. with a day and date release on HDNet Movies and DVD (