Lionsgate Nabs Rights to Judge Dredd Film, Plus Two Other Movies

Studio takes U.S. distribution rights to 'Dredd,' a 3D adaptation of the cult comic series starring Karl Urban, along with 'Protection' and 'Safe.'

Lionsgate has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to three action movies in a pact with sales and financier IM Global before the ribbon has even been cut on this year's AFM.

The mini-major secured rights to Dredd, Pete Travis' 3D adaptation of the cult 2000 AD comic series now in preproduction in South Africa; Simon West's Protection; and Boaz Yakin's Safe, just ahead of the Santa Monica shindig.

Now in production, the $30 million budgeted action thriller Safe stars Jason Statham and is written and directed by Yakin.

The Statham starrer is produced by Lawrence Bender Prods. and Trigger Street Prods. and bankrolled by IM Global.

Karl Urban stars as the iconic Judge Dredd. The pic is produced by the U.K. production banner DNA Films with writer Alex Garland.

IM Global is planning a March 2011 production start date for Protection, an action thriller starring Dwayne Johnson under the watchful eye of West and producers Robert Lawrence, Gordon Gray and IM Global CEO Ford. The film will shoot in New Mexico.

The three-picture deal was announced by Lionsgate co-COO and Motion Picture Group president Joe Drake and Stuart Ford, IM Global founder and CEO.

Brian Kavanaugh Jones of Automatik, IM Global's production joint venture with Alliance Pictures, is an executive producer on Safe and will play the same role for Protection. The Canadian company is a multiterritory distribution partner on all three films.