Company acquires U.S., U.K rights to Statham thriller

Lionsgate has acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to IM Global’s Jason Statham thriller “Hummingbird,” which begins production Monday in London.

IM Global announced during the American Film Market that it was fully financing the project, marking the directorial debut of “Easter Promises” screenwriter Steven Knight. Paul Webster is producing with Chris Menges on board as cinematographer.

Statham stars as a veteran haunted by a tragic past who assumes the identity of an upper class Londoner. When his girlfriend is found dead, he can no longer hide from his past as he hunts down the perpetrators.

Lionsgate’s releasing “Safe,” IM Global’s actioner starring Statham, directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Lawrence Bender, in the U.S. on April 27. Statham’s also starred in Lionsgate’s “The Bank Job,” “Transporter 3″ and the “Crank” films.

“Lionsgate has a terrific track record with Jason Statham films and I can’t think of anyone better to be behind this film in two such important territories,”

said IM Global topper Stuart Ford.

Lionsgate’s President and co-COO Steve Beeks spearheaded the distribution deal on behalf of the studio. “They have assembled an incredibly talented group of filmmakers around a taut story that promises to be a great vehicle for Jason Statham, with whom Lionsgate also has a wonderful relationship,” he added.

Indie financier/producer IM Global is in production on “Blood,” starring Paul Bettany, Mark Strong and Brian Cox with Nick Murphy directing. Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Prods. is producing alongside BBC Films; IM Global is co-financing with Quickfire Films and the BFI.

IM Global’s Automatik production joint venture with Alliance Films is in post-production on thriller “Welcome To The Punch,” directed by Eran Creevy, starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough and Peter Mullan and exec produced by Ridley Scott.

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