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Miramax takes domestic rights to CTHV’s ‘Fortress’

Miramax Films confirmed yesterday that it has acquired all North American rights to Columbia TriStar Home Video’s “Fortress,” which will be distributed to 800-plus screens this fall.

The action picture will go out through the Dimension Films banner, Miramax’s exploitation arm launched last year with the releases “Hellraiser III” and “Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice.”

The deal for “Fortress” extends Columbia TriStar Home Video’s relationship with Miramax, which has distributed myriad product produced by the Sony Pictures Entertainment label — most recently John Sayles’ “Passion Fish.”

“Fortress” is about a futuristic prison, where the government is trying to breed a half-human/half-machine race. Lambert leads a rebel force trying to overthrow the government. Miramax co-chairman Bob Weinstein said the movie was both “cerebral and action-packed.”

“Fortress” was directed by Stuart Gordon (“Re-Animator”) and stars Christopher Lambert (“Highlander”). Weinstein said the company sees Lambert “as a major movie star in this country,” adding that Lambert will hit the road on an extensive publicity tour in the United States.

Budgeted north of $ 10 million, the movie is produced by John Davis and John Flock. Co-producers of “Fortress” are Neal Nordlinger and Michael Lake. The movie was executive produced by Graham Burke and Greg Coote.

The movie has already played strong internationally, opening at No. 1 six weeks ago in Australia and two weeks ago in France.

Also on Dimension’s release schedule is director Yves Simoneau’s “Mother’s Boys,” which stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Peter Gallagher, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Vanessa Redgrave.