Magnolia picks up 'Joe' rights

Drama's cast includes Chazz Palminteri, Christine Lahti

NEW YORK -- Magnolia Pictures has nabbed North American rights to the Vegas heist drama "Yonkers Joe," starring Chazz Palminteri, Christine Lahti and Tom Guiry.

Writer-director Robert Celestino's film tells the story of a dice hustler (Palminteri) whose stab at one last big score is complicated by the reappearance of his estranged, mentally challenged son (Guiry). Linus Roache and Michael Lerner also star in the ode to old-time gamblers adjusting to a new age of upscale casinos.

"Joe" is the latest pickup of 2008 Tribeca Film Festival premiere. The Wagner/Cuban Co.-owned distributor will release it on Ultra VOD platforms Dec. 5, and there will be an HDNet sneak preview two days before it hits theaters in 10 markets Jan. 9.

"It works as both a fun con-artist flick and an appealing drama, and it's a terrific addition to our Ultra VOD program," Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said.

"Yonkers Joe" was produced by Vegas-based Go Prods.