Sony picks up rights to 'Machete'

Rose McGowan, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro star

NEW YORK -- Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has boarded "Machete," the action-thriller pic from Robert Rodriguez.

The banner has acquired most international rights to the tale. Rodriguez co-directed the pic with Ethan Maniquis from a script Rodriguez wrote.

Produced by Hyde Park, the film tells the story of a Mexican police officer who exacts his revenge on villains who betrayed him. Rose McGowan, Jessica Alba and Robert De Niro are among those starring in the film.

The film, which is shooting in Austin, grew out of an in-movie trailer Rodriguez made for his 2007 double-bill "Grindhouse" with Quentin Tarantino.

The Peter Schlessel-topped SPWAG is riding high after the breakout success of "District 9," a low-cost pickup that became a summer blockbuster. The division most recently bought Woody Harrelson superhero tale "Defendor" out of Toronto.