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Focus walks ‘Dog’ in States

Pic to change title for N. American arm of worldwide bow

Focus Features will distribute EuropaCorp’s “Danny the Dog,” starring Morgan Freeman and Jet Li, in North America. Universal has taken all rights for the U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

“It is a great deal for us,” EuropaCorp.’s Pierre-Ange Le Pogam said. “We have already sold the rest of the world.”

The film, which will have another title when it opens in North America, will bow worldwide in early 2005. The original Gallic release date in October this year has been pushed back to coincide with its international rollout.

EuropaCorp’s slate of pictures at Cannes includes $32 million actioner “The Transporter 2,” which has been picked up for most territories by Fox.

EuropaCorp will handle a few major territories, including Germany, Japan and France.

Like the first film, the Miami-set sequel will star Jason Statham; Cory Yuen and Louis Leterrier direct.

Steve Chasman is producing the pic, which starts shooting at the end of July.

EuropaCorp’s lineup includes “Color Me Kubrick,” a co-prod with Michael Fitzgerald that’s helmed by Brian Cook, Stanley Kubrick’s assistant director.

Dark comedy, budgeted at $10 million, is based on the true story of a London con man who posed as Kubrick in order to dine out and travel for free.

In production is “Arthur,” a live-action 3-D pic helmed by Luc Besson, based on his bestselling kids book.

EuropaCorp also is producing Aline Issermann’s $6 million comedy “All Expenses Paid” and the currently shooting “Ze Film,” about a suburban gang who steal a truckload of equipment from a film set and decide to make their own film.

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