Optimum takes Derek Cianfrance pic in U.K.
European heavyweight StudioCanal has snapped up French distribution rights to Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and Derek Cianfrance’s “Place Beyond the Pines.”The Vivendi-owned outfit also has U.K. rights to “Place Beyond the Pines,” which it will distribute via its Brit arm, Optimum Releasing. “Moonrise Kingdom,” which toplines Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, is in post; Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson and Steven M. Rales produce. Focus Features will release in the U.S. Focus Features Intl. is handling international sales for the pic, which it shopped to buyers in Cannes in May. Set in 1960s New England, script by Anderson and Roman Coppola follows young lovers who run away together, turning the town upside down in the process. “Place Beyond the Pines,” starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne and Eva Mendes, is lensing. Story concerns a motorcycle stunt rider who considers committing a crime to provide for his family. Cianfrance penned the script with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder; Lynette Howell and Sidney Kimmel produce with Alex Orlovsky and Jamie Patricof. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales and also launched the pic to buyers in Cannes. The acquisitions of these films, both hot tickets on the Croisette this year, further indicate StudioCanal’s strength in the independent sector. The company fully financed pics including “The Last Exorcism” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” a Working Title production set to preem in Venice next month, and its healthy financial structure enables it to snap up premium titles. On Sept. 1, the company is rebranding its Brit and German subsidiaries, Optimum Releasing and Kinowelt, bringing them under the StudioCanal moniker.