Lionsgate takes trip down 'Rabbit Hole'

Picks up North American rights to Nicole Kidman drama

In a move that injects a new contender into this year's Academy Awards race, Lionsgate has picked up North American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole," starring Nicole Kidman.

The movie will be released this year, and based on positive reactions at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, that should make it a player this awards season.

Directed by Mitchell and adapted for the screen by David Lindsay-Abaire from his play, the movie, which is in the vein of domestic dramas like "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Ordinary People," stars Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as parents mourning the death of a child and attempting to come to terms with their grief.

Dianne Wiest plays Kidman's mother, and Kidman, Wiest and Eckhart have all been lauded for their awards-worthy performances.

The play, first produced in 2006 in New York, earned a Pulitzer Prize, and a Tony for Cynthia Nixon, who played the Kidman part.

The film version was produced by Olympus Pictures, Bloosom Films and Odd Lot Entertainment. Producers are Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Kidman, Per Saari and Gigi Pritzker, with Daniels Revers, Bill Lischak, Linda McDonough and Brian O'Shea as exec producers.

The deal was negotiated between CAA and Lionsgate's Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe, and marks Lionsgate's second buy of a high-profile title after it joined with Roadside to acquire Robert Redford's "The Conspirator."