Alan Rickman is expected to play Sir Francis Drake in HG Prods.’ upcoming historical action-adventure movie “El Dragon,” about the Caribbean experiences of England’s 16th-century explorer. Australian helmer Tom Cowan will direct for producers Dudley Hood and Victoria Giraud. Pic will shoot in Oz at the Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios in Queensland.

Troma Inc. has formed a direct marketing catalog arm, Tromabilia, according to Steve Gaul, Troma’s director of marketing. Separately, Troma Inc. and Moshe Rotenberg of A&J Intl. announced the opening of Troma Italy, with sales and distribution offices in Milan. Troma Italy is prepping Italo homevideo debuts of Troma’s “The Toxic Avenger” and “Class of Nuke ‘Em High.” Troma Italy will be involved in TV sales of the Troma library as well as overseeing upcoming theatrical releases in the territory.

French indie distributor Europex, based in Paris, has announced new features “The Wolves” and “Goosebumps.””The Wolves,” an ecothriller produced by Artur Brauner and directed by Steven Carver, stars Eric Schweig, Darren Dalton and Kristen Hocking. The $ 7.5 million international co-production will start shooting in Alaska this month. Europex is in preproduction on comedy “Goosebumps ,” produced by David Peters and directed by Arthur Collis. Now in delivery is “Goldrush in Alaska,” based on Jack London’s Alaska stories and shot on location. The 13 hour programs, budgeted at $ 15 million, have been sold in 14 countries, including Germany, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

West Side Studios chairman David Winters said Prism Entertainment bought all domestic rights to West Side’s supernatural suspenser “Night Trap.” Pic stars Robert Davi, Michael Ironside, Lesley-Anne Down, Margaret Avery, Lydie Denier, Lillian Lehman and Mike Starr.

“Time Runner” will be released March 17, according to producers John Curtis and Lloyd Simandl, who sold the U.S. rights to New Line Pix. North American Releasing also has closed a deal at AFM for the first time with Highlight Films in Germany, which bought all rights for the film.

Alfred Haber Inc., the U.S.-based international distributor of telepix, series, music and variety specials and feature films, is introducing the kidvid series “Kidsongs” to international buyers at AFM. The 13 half-hours are produced by Together Again Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Records. The programs feature a fast-paced variety format that has propelled sales of more than 4 million units in the U.S.

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