‘Battle’ unfolds in New York

Charlize Theron drama premieres

Despite dropping ThinkFilm, Stuart Townsend premiered his directorial debut “Battle in Seattle” at Gotham’s Tribeca Grand Hotel on Wednesday.

The distrib picked up the film, which recounts the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle, at last year’s Toronto film fest but never got around to releasing it.

“Think took it, and it ended up sitting on their shelf for eight months, and then my producers and I realized that they were a company in financial trouble, so we took it back from them,” Townsend explained.

Luckily, the helmer never finalized the deal, which made repossessing the pic a relatively painless process.

“It wasn’t a problem getting it back, but it did waste a lot of our time, and it really stressed me out,” Townsend said

Also stressful was casting the film. Despite having his girlfriend, Charlize Theron aboard, Townsend said that finding the rest of the cast was initially difficult.

“We were a day away from shutting down the entire production and then suddenly Woody Harrelson signed on, and so I had Charlize and Woody, and then it was like I was swatting actors away.”

Although Harrelson was a no-show, Townsend celebrated the preem with other cast members including Theron, Michelle Rodriguez and Ray Liotta.

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