Overture nabs ‘Righteous’ rights

Avnet directing, co-producing Gewirtz script

Overture Films has nabbed North American rights to “Righteous Kill,” the Robert De Niro and Al Pacino detective thriller being produced by Millennium Films.

Jon Avnet is helming and co-producing the pic, based on Russell Gewirtz’s script.

Project features the second bigscreen pairing of De Niro and Pacino, who play two detectives searching for a serial killer. Thesps shared several scenes together in “Heat,” but will appear in tandem throughout much of “Righteous Kill.” (Both also appeared in “The Godfather II,” but never together.)

Millennium shopped the project at Cannes (Daily Variety, May 18), making much of the Pacino-De Niro pairing. It is producing along with Avnet, Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Lati Grobman, Randall Emmett and Rob Cowan; Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short are exec producing. Lensing is skedded to begin in September in Connecticut and Gotham.

“Righteous Kill” is the fifth project unveiled by Overture, a division of Starz Media run by a host of MGM and UA veterans, including CEO Chris McGurk and chief operating officer Danny Rosett. Overture intends to release eight to 12 pics annually. It has greenlit “Last Chance Harvey,” a romance starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson skedded to begin lensing in London in October.

Overture also acquired domestic rights to “Ferris Wheel,” a Charlize Theron starrer, and is developing “105 Degrees and Rising,” to be directed by Jon Amiel. It is distributing “Mad Money,” a comedy starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes that completed lensing last week.

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