Film group nabs distribution rights to cartoon

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has picked up distribution rights on animated film “The Sky Crawlers” for the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Deal was made on the eve of the film’s North American premiere at the Toronto fest.

Directed by Mamoru Oshii (“Ghost in the Shell”), story is set in an alternate present in which perennial adolescents called Kildren fight in an endless war at a sporting event that the public follows in the media. Chihiro Ito adapted the screenplay from Mori Hiroshi’s bestselling Japanese novel.

The voice cast includes Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”) and Chiaki Kuriyama (“Kill Bill Vol. 1″).  

Sony acquired the rights from Tokyo-based animation studio Production I.G.

“Sky Crawlers” recently bowed as an in-competition selection at the Venice Film Festival.

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