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Pathe preps ‘Descent’

Story of all-female caving expedition gone wrong

LONDON — Pathe has pacted with Celador Films to sell and distribute writer-director Neil Marshall’s chiller “The Descent.”

Pathe Pictures Intl. will handle worldwide sales, and Pathe U.K. will distrib pic in the U.K.

Celador Films fully financed Marshall’s $6.5 million follow-up to surprise hit “Dog Soldiers,” which Pathe distributed in the UK. “Dog” bit off almost $4 million at the U.K. box office.

“The Descent,” previously known as “The Dark,” tells the story of an all-female caving expedition that goes horribly wrong.

Marshall describes his horror pic, which just completed principal photography, as something akin to ” ‘Deliverance’ goes underground.”

Predominantly female cast includes rising talent Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, Nora-Jane Noone and MyAnna Buring.

“Descent” is Celador Films’ third feature. It follows Oscar-nommed debut “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Gosford Park” scribe Julian Fellowes’ directorial debut “Separate Lives,” which Fox Searchlight will release later this year.

Shingle’s parent company reaped coin from quizzer “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

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