Mel Gibson's 'Summer' lands slew of sales

Icon closes multiple deals in first big pre-sale at Berlin fest

BERLIN -- Icon Entertainment International has locked up multiple sales on the Mel Gibson action movie "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," one of the bigger titles at the European Film Market.

"Summer" is the first big pre-sale of the fest and could be a hopeful sign for other companies selling on scripts and unfinished films.

Covering most of Europe, Icon has closed deals with the Telemunchen for Germany, Eagle for Italy, Metropolitan for France, Paradiso for Benelux, Revolutionary Releasing for Eastern Europe, Svensk for Scandinavia, Odeon for Greece, Ascot Elite for Switzerland, Lusomundo for Portugal, and Fida for Turkey.

Nu Metro picked up "Sumer Vacation" for South Africa while Prime Pictures snagged it for the Middle East. Deals also were closed with Pioneer for Philippines, PT Amero for Indonesia, SSG for Taiwan and Sahamongkolfilm for Thailand.

The movie, directed by Gibson's "Apocalypto" first assistant director Adrian Grunberg and written by Gibson, Grunberg and Stacy Perskie, sees the actor as a career criminal sent to a vicious Mexican prison where he has learn to survive any way he can.

The movie generated some controversy when it was learned that the production would shoot in an actual working prison, which is necessitating the moving of prisoners, causing protests from their families.

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Some buyers also balked at some of the violence, though bidders did like the script's comedic touches.

The film will start shooting on location in Mexico in March.

No deal has been made with a North American distributor; Icon Prods. is handling that territory. Icon will distribute the film in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.