Miramax summons ‘God’s Army’

Miramax Films has reached agreement with Overseas Filmgroup for U.S., English-speaking Canadian, U.K. and Australian rights to screenwriter/director Gregory Widen’s surreal thriller “God’s Army.”

The Christopher Walken starrer, which is about a flock of renegade angels who set out to take over heaven and eliminate humanity, is earmarked for Miramax’s action/horror banner Dimension Films.

Often described as a “theological ‘Terminator,’ ” the pic was produced by Joel Soisson and Michael Leahy.

Made for between $ 7.5 million and $ 8 million, “God’s Army” marks the directorial debut of Widen, who scripted “Backdraft.”

Miramax plans to release “God’s Army” in the fall. Its acquisition of rights outside the U.S. and Canada indicates that the company is vigorously attempting to build brand-name identification in other English-speaking countries.

In addition, the acquisition underscores Miramax’s ambitions for its Dimension banner. The company recently reached agreement with producers Cary Brokaw and Lee Caplin for a remake of “The Haunting” and acquired rights to the “Halloween” franchise.

For Overseas Filmgroup, the picture is one of its first in-house pictures likely to receive significant domestic distribution support. The company greenlighted “God’s Army” at Cannes last year, when Walken committed to the project.

Rounding out the “God’s Army” cast are Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz and Amanda Plummer. The deal was negotiated by Miramax senior VP of acquisitions and West Coast production Tony Safford and Overseas chairman Robert Little.

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