Ascot Elite stocks up on feature fare

Mavericks,' 'Blackbird' among acquisitions

BERLIN — Curtis Hanson’s surfing drama “Mavericks” and F.F. Gary’s sci-fi heist thriller “Last Days of American Crime” are among 10 high-profile pics acquired by leading Swiss independent distrib Ascot Elite for its 2012 slate.

Company picked up “Mavericks,” which stars Gerard Butler in the true story of surfing phenom Jay Moriarty and his mentorship under legendary master Frosty Hesson, from Lakeshore, and “Last Days of American Crime,” with Sam Worthington set to star, from IM Global.

StudioCanal offered Swiss rights to “Blackbird,” by Stefan Ruzowitzky. The star-studded thriller, about a brother and sister team of thieves, stars Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson.

Wilde also stars in Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal’s “The Words” from Parlay/GK Films. Pic toplines Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons and Dennis Quaid in the period drama about a writer who steals another author’s work and lives to regret it.

From FilmNation came Jeff Nichol’s Cannes award-winner “Take Shelter,” starring Michael Shannon (“Man of Steel”), while David Frankel’s “Great Hope Springs,” starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell, was acquired from Lionsgate.

Ascot Elite also picked up such upcoming titles as:

— David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” from the Weinstein Co. Mark Wahlberg is attached to the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel.

— Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” from Summit. Based on Chbosky’s book, pic centers on a shy teen who explores his adolescence in 1991 Pittsburgh. Logan Lerman (“The Three Musketeers”) and Emma Watson star.

— Tarsem Singh’s untitled Snow White project, from FilmNation, starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer.

The Zurich-based distrib’s upcoming releases include “Twilight: Breaking Dawn,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” and Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.”

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