Italo Eagle soars with 20-pic slate

Firm to cap summer 2001 with 'Rollerball'

ROME — Trumpeting its arrival into the upper echelon of Italian distributors, newly recapitalized company Eagle Pictures has unveiled its first complete theatrical slate of 20 features for the upcoming season, to be capped by summer 2001 tentpole pic “Rollerball.”

Fueled by relationships with U.S. indie players such as Alchemy, Intermedia, Seven Arts Intl. and Summit Entertainment, and by an output deal forged in Cannes with Germany’s Helkon Intl. Pictures, the Eagle lineup looks to secure the company a significantly expanded presence on the Italian market. In the past, Eagle has averaged only five theatrical releases per year.

Sallone, Jolie up

Titles being handled by the company in the 2000-2001 box office season, which kicks off late August, include Harold Becker’s “Gold Coast,” headlining Sylvester Stallone; “Hell’s Kitchen,” with Angelina Jolie; “Novocaine,” starring Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon and Helena Bonham Carter; and Al Pacino and Jolie in Phillip Noyce’s “The Moe Snyder Project.”

Also included are previously announced acquisitions such as William Friedkin’s hit drama “Rules of Engagement”; Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey in “The Wedding Planner”; Luke Wilson, Denise Richards, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in “The Third Wheel”; and Ed Burns’ “Sidewalks of New York,” with Burns, Stanley Tucci and Heather Graham.

First title to bow from the Eagle slate will be teen comedy “100 Girls” in late August, preceded by summer preview engagements.

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