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Telepool ropes in Costner

Thesp-helmer's oater roams Germany

Munich-based Telepool has paid $3 million for German distribution rights to “Open Range,” the Kevin Costner Western that the actor recently set up domestically at the Walt Disney Co.

Michael Gambon has inked to star opposite Costner in the pic, which starts shooting this June in Canada with Costner set to helm. Pic is Costner’s first directing job since 1997’s “The Postman” and a return to Westerns for the thesp/filmmaker, whose “Dances With Wolves” swept the Academy Awards in 1991.

Cobalt Media Group, the U.K. and U.S.-based film financier and foreign sales company, recently boarded the film, picking up international distribution rights.

“Range,” penned by Craig Storper, is being produced by Costner, Storper and David Valdes. Pic is the story about the day-to-day travails of four men living in the West, played by Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna and Abraham Benrubi. They team up to rid their town of a menacing rancher.