Studio acquires 'Punisher 2,' 'Crank 2'

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has picked up overseas rights to two upcoming Lionsgate sequels, “The Punisher 2: War Zone” and “Crank 2: High Voltage.”

Sony nailed down all international rights for “The Punisher” sequel, now in production. Based on the Marvel comicbook series, it comes with a new team before and behind the cameras. Ray Stevenson picked up the role of Frank Castle, a former FBI agent determined to avenge the acts of violent criminals, which Thomas Jane portrayed in the original.

Dominic West and Dash Mihok co-star. Helmed by Lexi Alexander, it was penned by Matt Holloway, Art Marcum, Nick Santora and Kurt Sutter.

Sony acquired distribution rights for “Crank 2” in a number of territories, including Latin America, Japan, Australia and France. Jason Statham reprises his role as hit man Chev Chelios in the sequel, also being produced by Lakeshore Entertainment. The writer-director team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor will share in those duties again for the sequel.

Lionsgate is skedded to bow “Crank 2” in North America in 2009.

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