QED to fully finance sci-fi film

Sony Pictures will release Peter Jackson’s upcoming sci-fi production, “District 9,” which will be directed by Neill Blomkamp.

The studio has bought rights in North America, all other English-language territories, Korea, Italy, Russia and Portugal from financier and sales agent QED Intl.

While their plan to team on a bigscreen adaptation of the vidgame “Halo” is on hold, Jackson and Blomkamp are going forward this spring on the live-action sci-fier that will mark Blomkamp’s feature directing debut.

Jackson will produce through his Wingnut Films production banner. Blomkamp wrote the script with partner Terri Tatchell.

QED Intl. has committed to fully finance the film through its credit facility with Comerica Bank and Aramid Entertainment Fund, and is handling worldwide sales. Production begins this spring in South Africa, and Jackson’s WETA Workshop will provide visual effects.

Deal, likely the largest at this year’s American Film Market, was signed by Sony’s Peter Schlessel and QED’s CEO Bill Block.

Project grew out of a kinship that developed between Jackson and Blomkamp in New Zealand as they prepped “Halo.” Blomkamp is best known for directing commercials and short films, and Microsoft recently engaged him to shoot three commercials for the product launch of “Halo 3.”

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