Lionsgate banks on heist film

Statham, Burrows star in Donaldson thriller

Lionsgate has scooped up U.S. distrib rights to helmer Roger Donaldson’s feature thriller “The Bank Job,” penned by writing duo Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (“Flushed Away”).

Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows star.

Mosaic Media Group’s Charles Roven and Stephen Chasman are producing the pic, which Relativity Media and Australia’s Omnilab Media Group are financing.

Donaldson is currently lensing in the U.K., with principal photography set to wrap next month.

Film (which also has been referred to as “Baker Street”) was inspired by a real-life 1971 London bank robbery that was never solved. A band of thieves tunneled their way into a safe deposit vault, taking millions of dollars in cash and jewelry.

The robbery made headlines for several days, but then all reporting stopped as a result of a government gag order.

In “Bank Job,” the crime involves murder, corruption and a sex scandal with links to the royal family. Ultimately, the thieves are among the most innocent involved.

Lionsgate prexy of acquisitions and co-productions Peter Block, who announced the purchase with prexy of theatrical films Tom Ortenberg, said Donaldson (“The World’s Fastest Indian,” “Thirteen Days”) was the perfect filmmaker to weave together the “threads of intrigue, scandal and danger” involved in the story.

Taking an exec producing credit are George McIndoe, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Alper, Gary Hamilton, Alex Gartner, Alan Glazer and Christopher Mapp.

Arclight is repping rights to the film at the Berlin Film Festival.

Block, VP of acquisitions Eda Kowan and senior VP of legal and business affairs Wendy Jaffe negotiated the deal for Lionsgate. Relativity’s Aaron Michiel negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.

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