Distrib seals U.K. deal with Protagonist

Ben Wheatley’s “Kill List” has been acquired by Optimum Releasing for U.K. distribution.

The micro-budget pic about a contract killer with a rocky marriage and money problems was a hit at this month’s SXSW festival in Austin, where IFC Midnight picked up U.S. rights.

Optimum sealed the U.K. deal with sales agent Protagonist Pictures, in the face of strong competition from rival distribs. Optimum has an ongoing relationship with the film’s producer, Warp Films, but passed on the project at script stage.”Kill List” is Wheatley’s second film, following his debut last year with “Down Terrace.”

The film was produced by Warp X and Rook Films, with backing from Film4, the U.K. Film Council and Screen Yorkshire. Wheatley co-wrote the script with his wife Amy Jump.

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